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EU amends insecticide use to protect bees

The European Commission has amended the use conditions of four insecticides, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, fipronil and imidacloprid, to impose harmonised control measures to protect bees. The measures, which must be applied in EU member states by November 1st 2010, emphasise best practice in the use of seed treatments and seed drilling. They aim to prevent a repeat of the accidental release of the active ingredients in dust from seed treatments in several EU member states, which resulted in “substantial” losses of honey bee colonies, the Commission says. A case in Germany in 2008 led to suspensions of the use of several insecticide seed treatments ( Agrow No 545, p 14).

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