October 22, 2019 / 3:09 PM / 25 days ago

EU to ban Bayer's pesticide linked to harming bees

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Bayer AG is pictured outside a plant of the German pharmaceutical and chemical maker in Wuppertal, Germany August 9, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union governments on Tuesday widened the EU ban on pesticides linked to harming bees after deciding not to renew their approval for Bayer’s (BAYGn.DE) insecticide known as thiacloprid.

Farmers will not be allowed to use the insecticide, sold under brands Calypso and Biscaya, after April 30, 2020, when its current approval expires.

A majority of EU countries approved the proposal of the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, not to extend approval.

The Commission based its assessment on findings of the European Food Safety Agency published in January 2019. It highlighted concerns about the active substance being toxic for humans and present in too great a concentration in ground water, an EFSA spokesman said in an email.

The EU prohibited the use of three so-called neonicotinoids everywhere except greenhouses in April 2018. France has already outlawed all four insecticides and one other, including in greenhouses.

Reporting by Marine Strauss @StraussMarine; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Ed Osmond

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