[permaculture] EU agrees total ban on bee-harming pesticides | Environment | The Guardian

Lawrence London lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Fri Apr 27 12:16:53 EDT 2018

[next stop, ban herbicides which destroy food for bees]

EU agrees total ban on bee-harming pesticides | Environment | The Guardian

The European Union will ban the world’s most widely used insecticides from
all fields due to the serious danger they pose to bees.

The ban on neonicotinoids, approved by member nations on Friday, is
expected to come into force by the end of 2018 and will mean they can only
be used in closed greenhouses.

Bees <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bees> and other insects are
vital for global food production as they pollinate three-quarters of all
crops. The plummeting numbers of pollinators in recent years has been
blamed, in part, on the widespread use of pesticides. The EU banned the use
of neonicotinoids on flowering crops that attract bees, such as oil seed
rape, in 2013.

But in February, a major report from the European Union’s scientific risk
(Efsa) concluded that the high risk to both honeybees and wild bees
resulted from any outdoor use, because the pesticides contaminate soil and
water. This leads to the pesticides appearing in wildflowers or succeeding
crops. A recent study of honey samples revealed global contamination by

Vytenis Andriukaitis, European commissioner for Health and Food Safety,
welcomed Friday’s vote: “The commission had proposed these measures months
ago, on the basis of the scientific advice from Efsa. Bee health remains of
paramount importance for me since it concerns biodiversity, food production
and the environment.”

The ban on the three main neonicotinoids has widespread public support,
with almost 5 million people signing a petition from campaign group Avaaz
“Banning these toxic pesticides is a beacon of hope for bees,” said Antonia
Staats at Avaaz. “Finally, our governments are listening to their citizens,
the scientific evidence and farmers who know that bees can’t live with
these chemicals and we can’t live without bees.”

Martin Dermine, at Pesticide Action Network Europe
<https://www.theguardian.com/world/europe-news>, said: “Authorising
neonicotinoids a quarter of a century ago was a mistake and led to an
environmental disaster. Today’s vote is historic.”

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