Bumble Bee Study Does Not Affect Neonicotinoid Conclusions, EFSA Says

5 June 2013 --- EFSA has identified several weaknesses in a study, published by the UK Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), which suggested that neonicotinoid pesticides do not have a major effect on bumble bee colonies under field conditions.

Given these weaknesses, the Authority considers that the study does not affect the conclusions reached by EFSA regarding risks for bees related to the use of the neonicotinoid pesticides thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid, published in January 2013.

The Authority made the following points regarding the relevance of the study, Effects of neonicotinoid seed treatments on bumble bee colonies under field conditions (Thompson et al.), to the risk assessments published by EFSA:
•EFSA’s assessments covered the authorised uses of a number of plant protection products containing thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid across the European Union. The FERA study looked at only one crop – oilseed rape – and two plant protection products – one containing clothianidin, the other imidacloprid – authorised for use in the UK. Furthermore, the test sites and surrounding areas used in the FERA study reflect a small sample of agricultural conditions in the UK and cannot be considered representative of conditions in other parts of the EU.
•Two important routes of exposure – dust and guttation – were not addressed by the FERA study.
•In its assessments, EFSA reached conclusions mainly for honey bees, and identified a data gap for other pollinators. Field studies of bumble bees cannot be used to understand the risks to honey bees and other pollinators because of significant species differences.

EFSA’s experts highlighted a number of other deficiencies in the report. These include:
•Inconsistencies and contradictory statements regarding the objectives of the study.
•Absence of suitable control bee colonies. In particular, analysis of residues in pollen and nectar showed that the “control” site had been contaminated by thiamethoxam.
•Environmental conditions were varied across the three the test sites, which reduces the sensitivity of the study in detecting effects on colonies.

EFSA also raised concerns about how Thompson et al. elaborated and interpreted the study results to reach their conclusions.

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

Blockchain technology: Increasing trust, traceability & security in the food industry

20 Feb 2018 --- How the food industry can harness the power of blockchain technology is a key question for many as we learn more about cryptocurrency concepts and how blockchain applications can be beneficial for companies and consumers. Hyped as a potentially game-changing pioneering innovation, blockchain technology is inspiring change and innovation in the global food and beverage industry – and although it’s still in the extremely early stages, blockchain technology offers the promise of disruption on a huge scale across multiple sectors including agri-food, retail and the ingredients business at large. 

Business News

Blockchain and food: Early adopters to benefit from initial infrastructure

16 Feb 2018 --- “Blockchain” is one of the buzzwords at the beginning of 2018, with enormous hype around the benefits that this technology can offer. Early food sector adopters can undoubtedly take of advantage implementing blockchain too, particularly when it comes to traceability. 

Food Ingredients News

Start-up launches first ever dark chocolate infused with saffron

16 Feb 2018 --- British-Indian saffron start-up, Mahbir Premium Indian Saffron, is set to launch the first ever dark chocolate infused with Premium Indian Saffron at Gulfood 2018. Mahbir Tangy Orange Marmalade is in the running for the best condiment or sauce product at the Gulfood Innovation Awards 2018.

Food Ingredients News

Acrylamide reduction: Orkla and Renaissance BioScience expand yeast partnership

13 Feb 2018 --- Orkla Food Ingredients and Renaissance BioScience Corp. have agreed to expand their license agreement for Orkla to exclusively manufacture and sell Renaissance’s acrylamide-reducing yeast, Acrylow, to food manufacturers in additional new markets in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The agreement builds on the initial exclusive agreement implemented in Q3/2017 that covered the Nordic and Baltic regional markets in Europe.

Business News

2 Sisters to shut down factories and axe jobs at 3 facilities

12 Feb 2018 --- UK chicken supplier 2 Sisters Food Group, which was at the center of a food hygiene scandal last year, has announced it plans to cut jobs and close three factories across Britain. A consultation period has been launched to close the 2 Sisters’ Cambuslang factory in Scotland in addition to its West Midlands sites in Smethwick and Wolverhampton. However, while 900 jobs will be affected by this move, the company has announced 1,000 new roles.

More Articles