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EU backs pesticide limits to protect bees

European Union countries have endorsed lower residue limits in food and animal feed for two pesticides known to have adverse effects on bees, the European Commission says.

“Given their negative impact on pollinators worldwide, including bees, the use of these two neonicotinoids has already been stopped in the EU,” EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a statement.

“Today we are taking a further step, contributing to the transition towards sustainable food systems, also on the global stage,” she said.

Clothianidin and thiamethoxam, two neonicotinoid pesticides, were already banned for outdoor use in EU countries in 2018.

The new thresholds are to reduce the maximum residue limits to the lowest level that can be measured with the latest technology.

The new limits are to apply to food and animal feed both produced domestically and imported.

For final approval, the regulation will be submitted to the European Council, the institution representing the EU’s 27 member countries, and the European Parliament, which have two months to react.

If there are no objections from the two bodies, the regulation will be adopted in early 2023.

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