Quantcast

Victory: EU Votes to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides

Health + Wellness

Beyond 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

Yulia Lisitsa / iStock / Getty Images

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Many people follow the lacto-vegetarian diet for its flexibility and health benefits.

Read More Show Less

By Jared Kaufman

Eating a better diet has been linked with lower levels of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. But unfortunately 821 million people — about 1 in 9 worldwide — face hunger, and roughly 2 billion people worldwide are overweight or obese, according to the U.N. World Health Organization. In addition, food insecurity is associated with even higher health care costs in the U.S., particularly among older people. To help direct worldwide focus toward solving these issues, the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals call for the elimination of hunger, food insecurity and undernutrition by 2030.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
Healthline

Made from the freshly sprouted leaves of Triticum aestivum, wheatgrass is known for its nutrient-dense and powerful antioxidant properties.

Read More Show Less

mevans / E+ / Getty Images

The federal agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef issued an unprecedented statement that broke ranks with Australia's conservative government and called for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

A powerful earthquake struck near Athens, Greece and shook the capital city for 15 seconds on Friday, causing people to run into the streets to escape the threat of falling buildings, NBC News reported.

Read More Show Less
U.S. government scientists concluded in a new report that last month was the hottest June on record. Angelo Juan Ramos / Flickr

By Jessica Corbett

As meteorologists warned Thursday that temperatures above 100°F are expected to impact two-thirds of the country this weekend, U.S. government scientists revealed that last month was the hottest June ever recorded — bolstering calls for radical global action on the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less
Rod Waddington / CC BY-SA 2.0

By John R. Platt

For years now conservationists have warned that many of Madagascar's iconic lemur species face the risk of extinction due to rampant deforestation, the illegal pet trade and the emerging market for the primates' meat.

Yes, people eat lemurs, and the reasons they do aren't exactly what we might expect.

Read More Show Less