EPA calls for neonicotinoid information
TUESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2018
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is calling for information about three specific neonicotinoids – pesticides which can impact bees and other pollinators if not used correctly – to understand how and where they are being used within New Zealand.
The move follows recently updated risk assessments published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in February 2018.
"We believe some of the EFSA findings may be relevant to our New Zealand environment,” says Dr Fiona Thomson-Carter, EPA’s General Manager of Hazardous Substances.
Neonicotinoids have been used in New Zealand for more than 20 years. The EPA sets strict rules (also known as controls) around their application.
“To fully understand any potential new risks, it’s important that we gather data from across New Zealand. Our aim is to build a detailed understanding that will help us ensure our environment and our pollinators remain fully protected,” says Dr Thomson-Carter.
“We are seeking specific evidence, from manufacturers, importers and industry users, on clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.
“We want to know how they’re being used, the frequency and scale of their use, and the specific mitigation measures that are being adopted on application. We’re keen to work closely with interested parties and stakeholders to gather that information.
“It’s an extensive and critical piece of work which we estimate may take several months to collate,” adds Dr Thomson-Carter.
Manufacturers, importers and users have until 26 October 2018 to supply information. Further details can be found on the EPA website.
Beekeepers are also encouraged to complete the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Colony Loss and Survival survey, which is being sent directly to registered beekeepers. The EPA also uses the results of the survey to understand bee health, losses and beekeeping practice.