Bayer is appealing a European Union court ruling that upheld EU member countries’ decision to prohibit the use of three neonicotinoid insecticides as seed or soil treatment for most major crops. “The company is concerned that the verdictannounced in May, could have far-reaching consequences for the certainty and predictability of active substance approvals in the European Union,” Bayer said. The company added that “it respects the European legislative process and accepts the recent decision of the EU member states to broadly restrict the use of certain neonicotinoids in agriculture. As a consequence, the company has withdrawn the clothianidin dossier from the ongoing renewal process.” The other two neonics affected by the decision are imidacloprid, also made by Bayer, and thiamethoxam, made by Syngenta. In its decision, the EU’s general court supported the “precautionary principle,” writing that risk assessments are “not required to provide the institutions with conclusive scientific evidence of the reality of the risk and the seriousness of the potential adverse effects, were that risk to become a reality.” Where there is scientific uncertainty about the “existence or extent of risks to human health or to the environment, the precautionary principle allows the institutions to take protective measures without having to wait until the reality and seriousness of those risks become fully apparent or until the adverse health effects materialize,” the court said.

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