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Uncertainty on EU Neonicotinoid Restriction as Voting in the European Commission is Postponed


BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination

13 December 2017

Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Today an important voting session has been set aside leading the existing neonicotinoid ban by the European Commission into thin air. Member States representatives were supposed to vote on extending to all open-air crops the ban on three already restricted highly toxic neonicotinoid-based insecticides. However, the session supposed to occur in the Standing Committee managing the pesticide authorizations in Europe has been postponed based on mild excuses.

Despite the numerous reports by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) highlighting the systematic high risk to bees that neonicotinoids present, it has been stated that no decision will yet be made. The argument? The ECPA (European pesticide lobby) has put forward that it would be wiser to wait until the latest EFSA report has been published and until the outcome of the ongoing court cases on existing suspensions is known. As long as a full ban is not in order, the current situation will continue posing a confirmed risk to bees. Countries like Bulgaria, Finland or Romania keep providing emergency authorizations on the suspended use and will have the authorisation to do so until the EU takes the necessary action.

Meanwhile, the scientific proof of the environmental impact of these products continues to grow, exposing an increasing weight of evidence on the harm to the environment and our public health caused by these widely used products. Francesco Panella, BeeLife’s President has stated that "Europe is supposed to be science-based. And Science so far is showing the bad impact of these products, but it seems that evidence is still overridden by money…".

Since 2013 the use of these three dangerously toxic neonicotinoid insecticides has been restricted by the European Commission, but continuous derogations and events like today’s show that there is still resistance in safekeeping bees’ agriculture and people’s health.

ECPA original citation: "Given that we are still waiting the report of EFSA - originally expected in February 2017 - and the outcome of separate court cases on the legality of the current partial restrictions, it would seem premature for a vote at this point without the complete scientific and legal picture, as well as being in contradiction with the Commission’s own principles of Better Regulation.”


Contact: Andrés Salazar, BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination:

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