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Parliamentary questions
16 May 2018
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-001298/2018

Regulation (EU) No 485/2013(1) foresaw a review by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) of all new available scientific information related to risks from the use of the three neonicotinoids covered by that regulation within two years from its date of entry into force.

EFSA published its reports on 28 February 2018(2) according to which the risks in relation to sugar beets lay primarily with the succeeding crops. This is in line with previous conclusions. Depending on the active substance, EFSA either identified a high risk to bees from the use of neonicotinoids or concluded that a low risk to bees has not been demonstrated in the succeeding crops. A crop rotation system for sugar beets with a succeeding crop unattractive to bees has not been identified.

The Joint Research Centre carried out a survey(3) on the impact of the restrictions on pest management practices for maize, oilseed rape and sunflower. Even though the survey does not consider sugar beets specifically, for the plants covered by it, it shows that farmers found several alternatives as of the first year after the restrictions had been introduced.

On this basis and taking into account that neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides, it seems likely that alternatives with regard to sugar beets could also be found, as they existed in the past.

According to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009(4) an active substance can only be approved if the approval criteria of Article 4 are met (in particular, no harmful effects on human and animal health and no unacceptable effects on the environment).

(1)Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 485/2013 of 24 May 2013 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011, as regards the conditions of approval of the active substances clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid, and prohibiting the use and sale of seeds treated with plant protection products containing those active substances, OJ L 139, 25.5.2013, p. 12.
(4)Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC, OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 1.

Last updated: 17 May 2018Legal notice