Tighter data requirements for plant protection products in Belgium in order to protect the bees
According to the new data requirements for authorisation of plant protection products (Regulation (EU) No. 284/2013), also studies on the chronic toxicity for adult honey bees, on the toxicity for larvae and studies with other bees like bumble bees and solitary bees have to be submitted. For the time being, only studies on the acute toxicity for honey bees are taken into account.
A new guidance document (EFSA, 2013), describing how to evaluate these studies, has however not been taken note of at European level as yet. During the meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF) on 12 - 13 December 2018, the taking note was delayed again. Furthermore,only a limited part of the guidance document was proposed for approval, which in practice would lead to almost no changes for the current situation.
This is why a national approach was agreed in Belgium in the meantime. In this document, the rules for application of the Belgian approach concerning the risk assessment for bees are described. In a news release on 2/2/2017, the authorisation holders were already informed of the need to add these new studies and evaluations to their applications as of 2019.
By means of this national approach, the Authorisation Committee and the Service Plant Protection Products and Fertilisers will evaluate additional effects of plant protection products on bees in a proactive way and offer bees a high level of protection, awaiting a harmonised European evaluation methodology.