The European Commission (EC) announced measures to restrict the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides — imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin recently.
This new regulation has attracted widespread attention in the industry. A few days ago, the Institute for the Control of Agrochemicals of Ministry of Agriculture (ICAMA) held a neonicotinoid pesticide risk assessment workshop in Beijing to discuss the management of these kind of pesticides.
At the workshop, presentations were made on the development of the neonicotinoid pesticides, their registration process in other countries, and the impact analysis on honeybees, among others. A detailed discussion was held with respect to the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on honeybees in China.
In view of the difference between beekeeping in EC countries and China, the workshop reached the following conclusions:
1. To strengthen the monitoring of the impact of the pesticides on honeybees and establish risk assessment methodology to systematically assess the effects.
2. To start applications of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey crop and indefinite inflorescence crop to assess the risk on honeybees.
3. To investigate the production and the use of neonicotinoid pesticides; to track their impact on beneficial organisms; to cooperate further with other countries in the assessment, so as to assess the impact fairly and objectively.
4. To amend and make complete tags with added warning marks and prevent potential risks.
The workshop is the first meeting held by China to address the issue of the impact of the pesticides on honeybees. Due to the importance of honeybees in farming and ecology, all future pesticide registration process will take into account the impact on honeybees.
The workshop concluded that the pesticides should be generally assessed on the basis of an overall risk and evaluation of their benefits. The prohibition and restriction on their use must be supported by technical data resulting from scientific experimentation.