MEPs cast their vote today and have almost unanimously decided to adopt the ERDŐS report, which elaborates on the perspectives and challenges of the European bee-keeping sector.
The adoption of the report seems to be a milestone towards a better future for our pollinators. BeeLife coincides with MEP Eric Andrieu as he states: "the future CAP must give greater value to the ecosystem services provided by bees and the multiple uses of honey, particularly for therapeutic purposes". However, all stakeholders must take into account the importance of having a direct contact between policy-makers and bee-keepers. Research and restructuring of the bee-keeping sector should be led alongside expert bee-keepers, who can guide the process into sustainable and efficient practices.
After the adoption of the ERDŐS report, BeeLife highlights the following priorities for the future CAP: Avoid contamination (which requires recognising all existing routes of exposure to harmful pesticides); Increase and support sustainable agronomic practices, giving it preference over pesticides and insecticides; More coherence among policy and institutions, avoiding overlapping and contradicting efforts and regulation.
BeeLife stresses the point recalled by Mr Andrieu that "this is urgent!" Facing bee mortality rates that go up to 80%, European institutions and its citizens need swift action in order improve not only bees' pollination and honey production but particularly our agriculture and health.
Read more on the Erdos Draft Report, first presented on July 2017.
Find below the full text by MEP Eric Andrieu:
MEPs demand a better valuation of the services provided by pollinators.
BRUSSELS - The Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament adopted on Tuesday 23 January almost unanimously (38+, 1-), the ERDŐS report on the perspectives and challenges of the European beekeeping sector. "Beekeeping is a major issue," say MEPs Jean-Paul DENANOT and Eric ANDRIEU, "The role of bees makes them indispensable for the preservation of biodiversity and therefore our food security. "
The European Parliament aims to tackle adulterated honey, which is causing considerable damage to European beekeepers, and exposes consumers to serious health risks. They want to improve labelling, promotion and information to consumers and ask the European Commission for better control at EU borders. "One third of honey sold in the EU is adulterated! "Says Eric ANDRIEU, spokesperson of the European Social Democrats on agricultural issues. According to the European Commission's 2015 tests of more than 2,000 honey samples, 32% of honeys sold in the EU were either "not in compliance or under suspicion".
The report also calls on the Commission to ensure that honey and other bee products are considered "sensitive products" and thus excluded from free trade agreements.
On the other hand, the report calls for increased support for the sector, in particular by strengthening research and training with a 50% increase in the EU budget line for national apiculture programs. For Jean-Paul DENANOT: "The future CAP must give greater value to the ecosystem services provided by bees and the multiple uses of honey, particularly for therapeutic purposes. More research in the field of genetics is needed to make bees resistant to various pests such as Varroa destructor, while restructuring the beekeeping industry to make it more professional. This is the subject of the pilot project we are taking to the European Parliament. "
The report requires stricter rules on plant protection products and their authorization. For Eric Andrieu, "This is ugent! In some parts of Europe, the bee mortality rate is as high as 80%. In Europe, we are missing 13 million hives to satisfy crops pollination. The repopulation of bees in Europe involves the restoration of ecosystems and the progressive ban of pesticides in agriculture. Ultimately, we must be able to reach zero pesticides. "
-Originally published on MEP Andrieu’s website-