There has been a strong debate over neonicotinoids — insecticides widely used in farming — which are responsible for the mass slaughter of bees, according to studies. Bees are helpful for the environment and humans, not only because of their beneficial products, but mainly pollination (fertilisation of plants and trees), which is crucial for the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity.

For this reason, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) had temporarily banned the sale of three neonicotinoids: clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. Still, manufacturers claim that the standard use of products containing neonicotinoids, both in seed treatment and foliar application, has never caused any problems, provided good agricultural practice is applied.

In view of this:

What will the Commission do to protect bees, if the Court issues a final decision permitting the use of neonicotinoids?

In case the sale of neonicotinoids is banned, will the Commission ensure that they will not be replaced by insecticides harmful for ecosystems and bees?

Is special labelling required for farms using neonicotinoids, to avoid beekeeping activities close to such farms?