The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published an inventory of its activities on bees and bee health as part of a forthcoming report to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Spurred by a worldwide decline in the bee population, the agency created a task force with expertise in pesticides, animal health and welfare, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and plant health “to provide risk managers with comprehensive advice in the area of bee health.”

In compiling the inventory, the task force identified 355 bee-related scientific outputs that EFSA has already published or developed, with the majority of these outputs involving applications for regulatory products such as pesticides and GMOs. “With its mandate to improve EU food safety and to ensure a high level of consumer protection, EFSA has a responsibility to protect bees and the ecosystem services they provide to humans,” stated the agency in a November 20, 2012, news release. “It is timely to carry out this work in a more integrated and multidisciplinary manner, given the significant work already carried out by the Authority in the area of bee risk assessment and monitoring; the consensus reached by scientists on the multiple causes of bee colony loss; and the new body of scientific evidence showing the way different factors may interact to affect bees.”