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EFSA calls for research network on bees

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has recommended that a research network be set up to gather more information on how multiple stressors, including pesticides, damage bee health. It suggests the creation of a centralised, open-access research database. The conclusion comes in an EFSA report that found gaps in current knowledge relating to bee health. Two previous reports from the EFSA resulted in two-year suspensions being imposed on certain uses of the neonicotinoid insecticides, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam (Agrow No 665, p 6), and fipronil seed treatments (Agrow No 669, p 10). The industry has always argued that recent declines in bee numbers are due to a complex mixture of many factors, and not solely pesticide use.

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