The EU Commission restricts the use of sulfoxaflor to indoor use only

Updated: May 9

The EU Commission announced in April, that it will adopt legislation in the coming weeks to restrict the use of sulfoxaflor-based pesticides to indoor use only. This active substance is similar to those of the neonicotinoid family, which European approval was to run until 2025, will be withdrawn from the market due to concerns about its high toxicity to insect pollinators.


European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides said: “The protection of pollinators against harmful pesticides is of paramount importance, for the future of our planet and our children. Our commitments under the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Biodiversity Strategy are clear: harmful chemical pesticides will either be banned or see their use restricted. Today we are making good on this commitment. Scientific conclusions from EFSA show that outdoor use of Sulfoxaflor can be harmful for bumble bees and solitary bees. Action must be taken now to restrict its use to indoors only.”


Even though in 2013, on the basis of a risk assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (“EFSA”) the European Commission severely restricted the use of pesticides and treated seeds containing three neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) (Regulation (EU) No 485/2013). Sulfoxaflor was approved in the EU first in 2015, as an insecticide, (which has similar properties as other neonicotinoid insecticides, because of its mode of action: it acts on nicotinic receptors). It was allowed to be sprayed without restriction during the entire agricultural production period.