The European Commission adopted rules on Thursday lowering the authorized limits for the residual presence in food, including imported ones, of two neonicotinoids, pesticides accused of accelerating the massive decline of bee colonies and banned in the open field in the EU.
The new rules will lower the maximum residue limits (MRLs) of two neonicotinoids, clothianidin and thiamethoxam (…) to the lowest level that can be measured with the latest available technology
,” the EU executive said in a statement. communicated.
These limits will apply to all food produced in the EU, but also to imports of food and animal feed.
The measure will be imposed on products imported from 2026, in order to give third countries time to comply with the new rules.
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Appearing in the 1990s, neonicotinoids protect beets from jaundice, transmitted by green aphids, by attacking the nervous system of insects, and therefore pollinators.
Disturbing, even at low doses, the sense of orientation of bees and bumblebees, who can no longer find their hive, and altering the sperm of males, these pesticides are accused of contributing to the global decline of pollinators.
The EU has banned since 2018 the use in open fields of three neonicotinoids (clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid), and the Court of Justice of the EU ruled illegal in mid-January the derogations adopted by a dozen Member States for continue to allow beet growers to use neonicotinoids in seed coating as a preventive measure.
The new rules are part of the EU's '
Farm to Fork
' food strategy and the EU's '
Deal', which aim to '
take into account environmental aspects
' in import controls containing traces of pesticide substances banned in the EU, "
while respecting the standards and obligations of the World Trade Organization
", notes the Commission.