The European Commission has licensed a completely new insecticide for use in Europe. Cyantraniliprole, like neonicotinoids, is a systemic insecticide and is highly toxic to bees. PAN UK is dismayed that the EC has decided to allow such a bee-toxic pesticide onto the market. It seems that officials have learned nothing from the disastrous introduction of neonicotinoids which more and more studies are linking to large scale pollinator declines.
Cyantraniliprole is a systemic insecticide that works by affecting muscles in insects and eventually leads to death. This unusual mode of action means that it is effective against some pests that have become resistant to other classes of insecticide.
Like neonicotinoid insecticides – three of which the EC banned in 2013 because of concerns over their impacts on bees (ref 2) – it is a systemic insecticide and will be applied as a seed dressing. This means it will be taken up into the body of a plant rendering the whole plant toxic to pests that feed on it. However, experience with neonicotinoids, has shown that non-target organisms like bees and wild pollinators can also be harmed by systemic insecticides.
Cyantraniliprole is highly toxic to bees and PAN UK is concerned that the introduction of a new systemic insecticide will further harm our populations of bees and wild pollinators. Earlier this month, a comprehensive, multi-year study showed that wild bees have suffered “long-term and large-scale declines” in their distribution and communities since the introduction of neonictinoids (ref 3)
Instead of introducing new chemicals to deal with the problems of pesticide resistance, PAN UK is encouraging the government to support farmers to adopt more sustainable approaches like integrated pest management, which can cut pesticide use.
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1414 of 24 August 2016 approving the active substance cyantraniliprole, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (C/2016/5372) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2016.230.01.0016.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2016:230:TOC
Bee Health: EU-wide restrictions on Pesticide use to enter into force on 1 December http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-457_en.htm
Impacts of neonicotinoid use on long-term population changes in wild bees in England http://www.ceh.ac.uk/news-and-media/news/new-study-neonicotinoid-insecticides-linked-wild-bee-decline-across-england