Skip to comments.Europe to ban controversial pesticides (for 2 years)
Posted on 04/30/2013 12:38:21 PM PDT by neverdem
Three neonicotinoid insecticides are to be banned from use on crops that attract bees for two years in the EU. This follows a vote by member states yesterday. Although the final vote did not reach the majority needed for legislation to pass, the hung result allows the commission to decide further action. Tonio Borg, health and consumer commissioner, made it clear in a statement that the ban will proceed, citing a study by the European Food Safety Authority, published in January, that concluded that the pesticides posed a high acute risk to pollinators, including honeybees. Applying clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam to seeds, soil or crops will be outlawed from 1 December.
Neonicotinoids have recently been implicated in the decline in bee numbers across Europe and the US; however, much of the research remains contested, not least by firms, such as Bayer and Syngenta, who manufacture the compounds. Much of the criticism has centred around experimental design, with claims that they do not adequately model bees pesticide exposure to in the field. Nevertheless, this hasnt stopped France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia placing restrictions on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
Without the use of neonicotinoids, farmers will most likely fall back on older pesticides such as pyrethroids, which were replaced by neonicotinoids because they were shown to be less environmentally damaging. In addition to unintended environmental impacts, says the National Farmers Union (NFU), the ban could cause catastrophic impacts on food production. According to a report the NFU published last year, neonicotinoid seed treatments have allowed farmers to extend the growing season for many crops, increasing yields.
This issue is about science and evidence, and finding a balanced way to tackle the significant challenges to bee health, said the NFUs Chris Hartfield. However, it looks like we are about to make populist changes that do nothing to measurably improve the situation for bees, but will make it harder and more costly for farmers and growers to control pests on a whole range of agricultural and horticultural crops. However, opponents of the pesticides have been quick to point out that this has not been observed in the countries that have already restricted neonicotinoid use.
Pyrethroid pesticides such as cypermethrin may make a comeback in the EU with the two-year moratorium on neonicotinoids
As well as voicing concerns over the environmental impact of alternative pesticides, many are calling for appropriate monitoring of what will, in effect, be a large field study. A monitoring scheme of wild and managed bees must be set in place to provide evidence as to whether the moratorium is correlated with changes in foraging bee numbers and bee colony mortality, said Juliet Osborne, of the environment and sustainability institute at the University of Exeter, UK.
With environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth claiming the ban as a significant victory for common sense the response from the scientific community has been mixed. Lynn Dicks, who studies bee conservation at the University of Cambridge, UK, steered a middle course by describing the result as a victory for the precautionary principle.
Bring back the perfectly safe DDT and skip the problems.
An old FR article
Reminds me of the Alar pesticide scare designed to decimate the NW apple industry. It, like the hype of DDT has had untold effects on the well being and LIVES of people in this world.
To this day, there are scads of do-gooder liberals and UN programs out there feverishly working (at great expense and requests for thereof) to get rid of malaria in this world.
DDT did that job very effectively, but there wasn’t enough money in it for the liberal prigs....
The pests have been issued Cease and Desist notifications. If they don’t comply, the repercussions will be severe! ANOTHER Sternly Worded Cease and Desist Order!
Insects and pests should never mess with Europe!
Look up DDT resistance. Just like bacteria develop antibiotic resistance, bugs eventually develop resistance to DDT, at least in mosquitos.
Not if you eradicate them in toto....DDT could have done that.
You might be killing the good bugs along with the bad.
I had been using a product with Neonicotinoids to control grubs. Chlorantraniliprole, found in the newer formulation of GrubEx, seems to work just as effectively against grubs, so that’s what I switched to.