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

Business News

Barry Callebaut and Petra Foods Settle Dispute

31 Aug 2015 --- Barry Callebaut and Petra Foods have settled their dispute regarding the purchase price for the Cocoa Ingredients Division, which Barry Callebaut had acquired from Petra Foods in 2013. 

Business News

KEY INTERVIEW: La Morella Nuts – Differentiation Through Premium and Fresh Specialization

31 Aug 2015 --- Swiss headquartered Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products (B2B), with a sales volume of 1.7 million tons and sales revenue of CHF5.9bn (US$6.5bn). In fact, 1 in 5 chocolate and cocoa products, includes Barry Callebaut. But a recent shift at the company has seen it increasingly look to grow its business in adjacent products that match with chocolate.

Food Ingredients News

Smart Protein to Ease Production of Food And Care Formulations

31 Aug 2015 --- A sustainable, natural surfactant that offers greater manufacturing stability compared with conventional materials could soon be available for use in food, home and personal care products.

Business News

Givaudan Targets 4-5% Organic Sales Growth for Next Five Years

28 Aug 2015 --- Givaudan has announced its financial ambitions and roadmap for the next five years. The Company seeks to ensure responsible growth and shared success for its shareholders, customers and all key stakeholders.

Business News

Mitsubishi Acquires 20% Stake in Olam International for $1.1 Billion

28 Aug 2015 --- Mitsubishi Corp. (MC) will take a strategic stake in Singapore-listed commodities trader Olam International Ltd. for 1.53 billion Singapore dollars (US$1.1 billion), the latest move by growth-hungry Japanese firms looking for opportunities beyond their home market.

More Articles