November 5, 2013 / 2:30 PM / 4 years ago

BASF challenges EU ban on fipronil pesticide

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German chemicals group BASF said it launched a legal challenge against the European Commission’s ban of BASF’s insecticide fipronil, imposed in July on concern its use as seed treatment is linked to declining bee populations.

A honeybee gathers pollen from a flower at a farm in the western Austrian village of Seefeld May 14, 2013. REUTERS/ Dominic Ebenbichler

BASF has filed legal action with the General Court of the European Union because “valid scientific studies and evidence were not properly taken into account,” BASF said in a statement on Tuesday.

The European Union in July added fipronil to its blacklist of substances suspected of playing a role in declining bee populations.

The ban follows similar EU curbs imposed in April on three of the world’s most widely-used pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, and reflects growing concern in Europe over a recent plunge in the population of honeybees critical to crop pollination and production.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger, editing by Christiaan Hetzner

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