The March 24 Guardian reports that the EC is preparing legislation for a permanent ban on neonicotinoid spraying in the field.
.. the European commission (EC) has decided to move towards implementing a complete ban now, based on risk assessments of the pesticides by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa), published in 2016.
Efsa considered evidence submitted by the pesticide manufacturers but the EC concluded that “high acute risks for bees” had been identified for “most crops” from imidacloprid and clothianidin, both made by Bayer. For thiamethoxam, made by Syngenta, the EC said the company’s evidence was “not sufficient to address the risks”.
While this would be a major step in the righr direction, there is no mention of seed dressings, which are a significant source of pesticide residues in the environment.
Nor would the ban extend to glasshouse crops. A recent study has shown that neonicotinoid exposure affects bumbles by reducing their ability vibrate the wing muscles to carry out buzz pollination. It is their buzz pollination technique which makes bumbles the commercial pollinator of choice for indoor tomato crops.