November 5, 2013 / 2:30 PM / 6 years ago

BASF challenges EU ban on fipronil pesticide

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

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.

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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