THE EUROPEAN Food Safety Authority has concluded that the insecticide fipronil “poses a high acute risk to honeybees when used as a seed treatment for maize”.
The findings have prompted calls for the European Commission to look at restricting the use of the chemical, which is manufactured by BASF.
In April, the EU voted in favour of banning three pesticides found to be harmful to bees.
Friends of the Earth said the research was “further evidence that testing [on widely-used chemicals] is not rigorous enough.”
BASF told the Guardian that declining bee health “must be addressed via a holistic approach and not by singling out certain technologies”.
The link between pesticides and bee health has divided scientists and politicians. However, bee populations have been declining, with some studies suggesting that a lack of pollinators could push food prices up.