The EU is supporting a total ban on the three neonicotinoid active ingredients already under restrictions for use on flowering crops. The move follows a scientific review that concluded that the outdoor use of these insecticides harms bees. Manufacturers and trade bodies have criticised the decision, and the fact it was reached before a legal hearing on the validity of the existing restrictions.
With precision agriculture and digital platforms exponentially increasing the amount of data generated by agricultural operations from planting seeds to feeding animals, a new voluntary code of practice aims to regularise access to and use of this data. The code, which is endorsed by the European Commission, aims to “set transparent principles, clarify responsibilities and create trust among partners”.
The latest EU scientific advice confirming that neonicotinoid seed treatments and granules are harmful to bees has been criticised by farmers and the supply trade as being based on flawed trial guidelines and for being out of line with regulators in other areas of the world.