European Commission goes to Appeal Committee on neonicotinoid ban

Brussels

Last Friday, Member States obtained no qualified majority on the vote on the proposal of the European Commission to temporary ban 3 harmful neonicotinoid insecticides to bees. 13 Member States voted in favour of the proposal, 9 voted against and 5 abstained. Therefore, the European Commission decided to go to the Appeal Committee.

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe warmly welcomes the decision of the Commission to maintain its proposal as it is and not to water it down under the pressure of the pesticides industry and the industrial farming sector.

The intensive lobbying and misleading information provided by the industry seem not to have been efficient enough to stop the proposal of the Commission.

Neonicotinoids are extremely toxic systemic insecticides to honeybees, bumblebees and wild pollinators. Their presence in the nectar and pollen of flowers has been pointed out from the beginning of their use. In the mid 90’s, French beekeepers experienced important colony losses in the areas neonicotinoids were first used. Since, their use has been spreading across Europe, honeybee colony losses raised in impressive ways. Some countries, such as Italy, took measures to ban the use of these highly toxic insecticides on seed treatment and colony losses immediately dropped down [1]. Pesticides industry spends enormous amounts of money to put the focus on Varroa mite or bad beekeeping practices, denying the fact that wild pollinators also disappeared dramatically in the last decades.

Finally we would like to underline that today is the beginning of the Week Without Pesticides. Within this large European event PAN Europe organizes together with the European Beekeeping Coordination and the Greens an conference debate in the European Parliament on Friday the 22nd of March: Pollinators friendly farming is possible (to register contact Carolina Cardoso cardoso [at] bee-life.eu).

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Further information

1. Link Italy

For further information please contact:

Martin Dermine, Bees Project Officer, 0486329992.

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PAN Europe gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the European Union, European Commission, DG Environment, Life+ programme. Sole responsibility for this publication lies with the authors and the funders are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.