EFSA identifies bee risk from fipronil
Maize seed treatments based on the insecticide, fipronil, pose a high acute risk to honeybees, mainly due to dust drift, concludes an assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Assessments for other crops and exposure routes could not be completed due to data gaps, but use on vegetables was deemed to be low risk, it adds. In response, BASF says that the assessment does not identify any new risks from approved uses of fipronil, and argues that any potential restrictions would not take into account the multiple complex factors related to bee health. The latest finding comes as the European Commission issues restrictions on three neonicotinoid insecticides to protect bees (see this issue).