This week the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced ‘new pesticide labels that prohibit use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present.’ You can see the new label design here.
These new labels are supposed to stop people using four neonics: imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. I’m not sure how this is to be enforced. It’s only supposed to apply ‘where bees are present,’ whatever that means.
Three of these neonic pesticides are the same ones which will be banned here in Europe for two years, starting from the end of 2013. Our ban will cover imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. I think (but could be wrong) that dinotefuran is already banned throughout Europe. If you know that I’m wrong about that, please tell me.
I think that both of these neonic bans – our own European ban, and the new US ban – are steps in the right direction. But our ban is only temporary, as if neonics will somehow stop being harmful after two years. And the US ban doesn’t look cheatproof, does it? It looks as though a farmer could say, ‘I saw no bees, so I went right ahead and sprayed my fields.’
You can see more under my ‘neonicotinoid’ tag.