EPA in a buzz about effects of neonicotinoids

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is calling for more information on three neonicotinoid pesticides to understand how and where they are being used within New Zealand.

Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticide which act on the central nervous system of insects and which can have adverse effects on bees and other pollinators if not used correctly.

The three neonicotinoids that the EPA is seeking information on (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) have been approved for use in New Zealand for more than 20 years, subject to controls under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO).

The EPA’s information gathering exercise may result in future restrictions on the use of certain neonicotinoids.  If you or your workplace use neonicotinoids you may wish to consider providing information to the EPA explaining how and why you use the substances.  The EPA is seeking information by 26 October 2018.

More information on neonicotinoids, as well as details on how to provide information, can be found on the EPA’s website here.

The EPA may reassess the status of certain neonicotinoids in the future

The EPA’s call for more information has been prompted by regulatory changes in the European Union which in 2013 voted to restrict the use of the certain neonicotinoids, and in 2018 voted to ban the three main neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) for all outdoor uses.

The EPA is required to apply a precautionary approach to its functions and powers under HSNO, based on the best available information.  On the provision of further information relating to the effects of the substances, the EPA’s chief executive may decide that a reassessment of neonicotinoids is necessary.  Any reassessment that follows is required to be publicly notified, with an opportunity for public submissions.

We can help

We regularly advise clients on their obligations under HSNO.  Please contact one of our experts if you would like us to assist you in providing information to the EPA, or if you are concerned about the potential for these substances to be reassessed in the future.

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