EFSA evaluates emergency use of neonicotinoids on sugar beet in 2020 to 2021

07 December 2021

Article: 55/4909

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has completed assessments of emergency authorisations granted by 11 EU member states for the use of neonicotinoid-based insecticides on sugar beet in 2020 and 2021.

The assessments cover 17 emergency authorisations for plant protection products containing clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and thiacloprid granted by Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Spain.

Outdoor use of imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin in the EU was banned in 2018 and, in January 2020, the approval of thiacloprid was not renewed. The measures followed assessments by the EFSA which showed that the first three substances posed risks to bee health, while the use of thiacloprid could lead to contamination of groundwater.

In 2020, the European Commission asked the EFSA to assess whether the emergency authorisations granted by the member states were justified, as there was a reported danger to crops which could not be contained by any other reasonable means, in line with the EU Plant Protection Products Regulation.

The EFSA has concluded that in all 17 cases the emergency authorisations were justified, either because no alternative products or methods, chemical or non-chemical, were available, or because there was a risk that the pest could become resistant to available alternative products. 

Source: EFSA, November 2021