Woolworths to stop selling pesticide linked to global bee decline

On Tuesday the grocery giant announced it would join Bunnings in pulling Yates Confidor, a class of pesticide which some international studies have found damage the survival of honeybee colonies

Yates Confidor is a neonicotinoid, a class of pesticides used widely for more than a decade.

Neonicotinoids represent about a quarter of the multibillion dollar international pesticide market but have been repeatedly linked to serious harm in bees in lab-based studies.

The chemical was once seen as having an environmental advantage to other chemicals because the product is applied to seeds, which reduced spraying. But numerous studies in Europe have found that the chemicals end up in the nectar and pollen that bees feed on, and may damage the survival of honeybee colonies.

Contamination from the pesticides has also been found in honey, and the European Union has banned its use on flowering crops. Last year the British environment secretary, Michael Gove, backed a total ban on the pesticides in fields across Europe.

 

Gove said the “weight of evi

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A spokesman for Woolworths said the company would cease selling the product from the end of June.

“We can confirm that we’ll cease the sale of Confidor in Woolworths supermarkets and we’re currently working with the supplier around this decision,” the spokesman said. “We expect the product will no longer be on our shelves from the end of June this year.”

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