The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Victory: EU Votes to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
A landmark decision by the European Commission yesterday, means that bee-killing, neonicotinoid pesticides will experience a continent-wide ban in Europe for two years. A 15-member states majority supported the ban, with eight against and four abstaining.
European Health and Consumer Commissioner Tony Borg explains, “Since our proposal is based on a number of risks to bee health identified by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the Commission will go ahead with its text in the coming weeks. I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion annually to European agriculture, are protected.”
The ban comes several months after the EFSA released a report identifying “high acute risk” to honey bees from uses of certain neonicotinoid chemicals. The moratorium will begin no later than December 1 this year.
“We’re happy to see the EU take a leadership role to remove from the market these chemicals associated with colony collapse disorder and hazards to bee health. We’ll continue to push the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through legal and advocacy means to follow-up with urgent actions needed to protect bees,” says Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides.
In the U.S., the silence from executive regulatory agencies is deafening. Beekeepers and environmental advocacy groups have continuously engaged the EPA on this issue, first filing an emergency legal petition to ban the pesticide clothianidin back in March 2012. After being told to effectively “buzz off” by regulators, Beyond Pesticides joined with beekeepers, environmental and consumer groups in a lawsuit challenging the agency’s oversight of these systemic pesticides, as well as their practice of “conditionally” registering pesticides without adequate data.
The EU vote represents a major setback to industry giants Syngenta and Bayer, which spent millions of dollars lobbying European states to not support a ban on their products, and casted calls for a ban on the unfounded accusations of “bee-hobbyists.”
According to the Guardian UK, “One Syngenta executive, mentioning in passing his recent lunch with Barack Obama, claimed that ‘a small group of activists and hobby bee-keepers’ were behind that campaign for a ban.” Industry continues to argue that a ban would be catastrophic to agriculture, but similar bans in Italy, Slovenia and Germany enacted a couple years ago did not hinder the agricultural community.
In light of these new restrictions across Europe, EPA must also move to restrict these chemicals in the U.S. to protect bee and other pollinator health.
Visit EcoWatch’s BIODIVERSITY page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A middle-aged married couple in China was diagnosed with pneumonic plague, a highly infectious disease similar to bubonic plague, which ravaged Europe in the middle ages, as CNN reported.
Dairy aisles have exploded with milk and milk alternative options over the past few years, and choosing the healthiest milk isn't just about the fat content.
Whether you're looking beyond cow's milk for health reasons or dietary preferences or simply want to experiment with different options, you may wonder which type of milk is healthiest for you.
At least 1,688 dams across the U.S. are in such a hazardous condition that, if they fail, could force life-threatening floods on nearby homes, businesses, infrastructure or entire communities, according to an in-depth analysis of public records conducted by the the Associated Press.
By Sabrina Kessler
Far-reaching allegations about how a climate-sinning American multinational could shamelessly lie to the public about its wrongdoing mobilized a small group of New York students on a cold November morning. They stood in front of New York's Supreme Court last week to follow the unprecedented lawsuit against ExxonMobil.
By Alex Robinson
Leah Garcés used to hate poultry farmers.
The animal rights activist, who opposes factory farming, had an adversarial relationship with chicken farmers until around five years ago, when she sat down to listen to one. She met a poultry farmer called Craig Watts in rural North Carolina and learned that the problems stemming from factory farming extended beyond animal cruelty.
Temperatures plunged rapidly across the U.S. this week and around 70 percent of the population is expected to experience temperatures around freezing Wednesday.