Agrofarma refutes agchem/bee collapse link
Italian agrochemical association Agrofarma has rebutted recent research showing a link between the application of neonicotinoid insecticides and the collapse of bee colonies. Two recently published studies linked exposure to thiamethoxam and imidacloprid with large bee population declines ( Agrow No 637, p 22). The association cites alternative reasons, such as pest infestations due to climate change, while noting Italian studies had found the frequency of “certain disorders” of bees rose when use of the products was absent. It also repeats the claims of some pesticide companies that the studies’ exposure levels exceeded those reachable under normal conditions. Agrofarma remains “confident” that national authorities will assess all relevant studies before deciding on re-registrations for “these invaluable maize insecticides”. Italy has suspended the sale and use of neonicotinoid insecticide-based seed treatments on maize since 2008 ( Agrow No 627, p 15).