The conclusion, based on analysis of more than 1,500 studies, makes it highly likely that the neonicotinoid pesticides will be banned from all fields across the EU when nations vote on the issue next month.
Neonicotinoids, which are nerve agents, have been shown to cause a wide range of harm to bees, such as damaging memory and reducing queen numbers.
Jose Tarazona, head of Efsa’s pesticides unit, said: “The availability of such a substantial amount of data has enabled us to produce very detailed conclusions.
There is variability in the conclusions [and] some low risks have been identified, but overall the risk to the three types of bees we have assessed is confirmed.”.
The Efsa assessment includes bumblebees and solitary bees for the first time.
Matt Shardlow, at charity Buglife, said the risk guidance document should be urgently implemented to prevent another pesticide “blunder”.
It banned the use of the three main neonicotinoids on flowering crops, principally oilseed rape, as they were seen as most attractive to bees. »