Three groups have decided to appeal to the European Court of Justice against the recently approved launch of Sulfoxaflor. They say that the pesticide, like other neonicotinoids, is harmful to bees.
“The new molecule is possibly toxic and this is a big issue. We need more tests to assess the impact of this product on bees,” says Etienne Bruneau, from CARI (Beekeeping Centre for Research and Information) working with UCL (Catholic University of Leuwen).
CARI is a member of BEE Life, uniting 13 national beekeepers associations, which decided to file an appeal jointly with 2 other associations: PAN Europe (Pesticide Action Network Europe), a group of 35 environmental groups from 25 European countries, and UNAAPI (Italian Beekeepers Association).
These groups are reacting to the negative 2014 report by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) on the pesticide Sulfoxaflor, a product developed by Dow AgroSciences.
The manufacturer was eventually allowed to sell the product in Europe at the end of July. “Just like other neonicotinoids, Sulfoxaflor threatens bees. It can be absorbed by plants and is later found in their nectar and pollen,” says PAN Europe’s Martin Dermine. “Furthermore, pesticides can be found much later on in both soil and water.”
Europe decided to temporarily ban 3 types of neonicotinoids for bee-attracting plants in 2013. PAN Europe deems the recent authorisation “irrational and illegal.” The 3 groups add that the United States have again banned the sale of this particular pesticide last September.