European Union countries backed a proposal on Friday to extend a partial ban on the use of insecticides known as neonicotinoids that studies have shown are harmful to bees.
The full outdoor ban will be on the use of three active substances - imidacloprid developed by Bayer CropScience , clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer CropScience as well as Syngenta's thiamethoxam.
"All outdoor uses will be banned and the neonicotinoids in question will only be allowed in permanent greenhouses where exposure of bees is not expected," the European Commission said in a statement.
Decline Of Pollinators
The partial ban was originally in place since 2013. Restrictions affected use on crops such as wheat, barley, rape seed, and maize.
A recent landmark European Food Safety Authority study found that neonicotinoids posed a threat to many different species of bees, after an extensive assessment of more than 1,500 studies on the impacts of the three named insecticides.
Jose Tarazona, head of its pesticides unit, said in a statement, "The availability of such a substantial amount of data as well as the guidance has enabled us to produce very detailed conclusions.
“There is variability in the conclusions, due to factors such as the bee species, the intended use of the pesticide and the route of exposure. Some low risks have been identified, but overall the risk to the three types of bees we have assessed is confirmed.”