The federal government announced a series of measures last week to curb the use of two commonly used pesticides known as neonicotinoids and clothianidin, which were banned in some countries for their impact on bee populations.
Both pesticides have been linked with a range of neurological disorders in laboratory animals.
A review into the chemicals will look at whether they pose a threat to humans.
The announcement follows a report last month by the UK’s Environment Agency, which found the two pesticides, which are applied on crops, can disrupt bees’ ability to pollinate them.
Neonicotinoid pesticides are used on a variety of crops including cotton, sugarcane, oats, alfalfa and canola.
The two pesticides are not included in the current regulatory framework for pesticide regulation, which allows for more stringent controls over the use.
“There is no evidence to support the notion that neonic-toxic pesticides are any more or less harmful to bees than their less toxic counterparts,” a report from the UK agency concluded.
The government also announced it would review its approach to environmental protection, which has long been criticized for allowing industry to get away with damaging ecosystems without scrutiny.
It will review the process for approving new pesticides and seek to strengthen the role of experts to make sure new chemicals don’t cause harm.
In a separate move, the government will also review its own pesticide regulations.
The department has proposed to phase out a program to promote the use and spread of neonic and clothyield pesticides.
A report released in October said it was costing the department about $5 million a year and needed to be scaled back.
The move comes as a number of countries are moving away from the use or import of neonics in their agriculture, and more and more people are beginning to question their efficacy.
While neonicants and clothies are not known to cause harm to bees, they have been blamed for a range to other insects and the environment.
They are also a common component of many insecticides, and are used in fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides.
“The public health and environment communities need to get a handle on this issue,” said the group’s executive director, David Beaumont.
Environmental activists have long said the neonicant program, which was set up in 2003, has led to a collapse in pollinator populations, with bee populations dropping to near zero.
The EPA estimates the program is responsible for between 70 and 80 per cent of the decline in pollinators over the past decade.
But the program has also come under fire, particularly from beekeepers, who say the neonics are harming their livelihoods and the pollinators they rely on.
The group’s petition to the government calling for a review of the neontonic program was backed by beekeepers in Oregon and Washington, who argued the program was responsible for the decline of bee populations and should be stopped.
A pollinator expert told CNNMoney that there is no question that the neonics are harmful, but there is still no scientific consensus on the potential risks.
There is a lack of data on neonic exposure, he said.
“The public is not being told the truth, and the industry is not telling the truth,” he said, noting that it is difficult to prove that neonics pose a health risk.
In the UK, the country with the second-highest rate of autism in the world, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) last month published a report saying that neonicals pose a “potentially serious risk to the health and welfare of UK people”.
The report found that the use, distribution and transfer of neonones, which come in different formulations, are increasingly being used in food production.
Neonicotinols are not new to the UK.
The country has been one of the leading users of clothianids, a chemical used in many industrial products.
However, Defra’s report said the UK is now in the midst of a new boom in the use in agriculture.
The use of neons is also on the rise in the U.S.
A review last year by the U,S.
Environmental Protection Agency found neonic use in the food supply in the country had doubled since 2000, and that the pesticide was widely used in the production of foods and agricultural products.
At least six states and Washington D.C. have banned clothianides as a result of Defra findings.
Bees have long been targets for pesticide use, with the pesticides used on their wings and body parts causing neurological damage.
During the 1970s, when neonic pesticides were first being tested, the European Union banned clothicalis and neonicamid, and in the early 1980s, the U-S.