The European Commission announced [September 27] that imports of products containing residues of harmful insecticides known as neonicotinoids will be banned from 2026, in a move that adds a serious amount of global political heft to the Farm to Fork strategy.
What’s this about? The ban will cover clothianidin and thiamethoxam, two insecticides known to pose a high risk to bees and other pollinators. Their use is already prohibited in the EU — but some countries have found ways to go around the ban and continue spraying them on their fields. Chemical giants also continue to produce neonicotinoids in the EU and export them to be used by non-EU farmers, a practice the Commission has pledged to outlaw by 2023 under its Chemicals Strategy.
Why wait?The new import rules received a green light from national capitals and will be adopted early next year, but the ban won’t go into effect for another three years. This is to give food operators and third countries ″sufficient time to adapt,″ the Commission said in a statement.
Reactions? The EU’s previous attempts to prohibit harmful insecticides have met with strong opposition from some of the bloc’s major trading partners, including the U.S. The Commission said the new ban respects World Trade Organization standards and obligations and added that it has consulted on the plan with other WTO members.