Uncertainty as There is Still No Scheduled Vote on Neonicotinoids Ban at the European Commission

Updated: Apr 2, 2019



BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination

22 March 2018

Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

European beekeepers and the 80 NGOs of the Save the Bees Coalition are holding their breath for the European Commission to take a vote today or tomorrow on bee-harming insecticides, neonicotinoids. Experts from the 28 Member States will meet for a session of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) on March 22nd and 23rd. A year ago, the European Commission had already presented a plan to extend the current restrictions on three neonicotinoid insecticides (imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam), but has yet to implement such proposal.

The European Commission has today a chance to prove its commitment to improving environmental conditions for bees and all pollinators. Now that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published their conclusions for risk assessment on neonicotinoids, the Commission has all the required evidence to take a step forward. Results are conclusive: neonicotinoids pose a risk to bees, and the Commission is enabled to act to implement further restrictions on them.

Pressure mounting up for the Commission to take a vote on extending the restrictions is not only coming from civil society. 86 MEPs have co-signed a letter addressed to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis. In it, Members of the European Parliament state their concern and emphasise that "there is a strong evidence-based scientific consensus that neonicotinoids, a group of systemic pesticides affecting the central nervous system of insects, pose a risk specifically to honey bees and other pollinators".

Stakeholders expect a decision to be taken by the Commission, particularly after recent events in the European Parliament. The next day after the EFSA published their scientific review on the three neonicotinoids on February 28, the European Parliament voted almost unanimously to adopt the Erdõs report on beekeeping. The report includes recommended actions to ban pollinator-harming pesticides.

The current agenda for the PAFF committee still shows no indication of the Commission to present its proposals for voting. However, this is an ideal moment for the EC to take the next step following the presented scientific evidence. BeeLife and its members strongly encourage the Commission to haste and follow up on their initiative to ban these dangerous insecticides, as European beekeepers have been demanding for years.

-ENDS-

Contact: Andrés SALAZAR, BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination: comms@bee-life.eu

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NOTE TO EDITORS:

BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination is an association formed by professionals of the beekeeping sector from different countries of the European Union. Its main activity is the study of the impact on bees of environmental threats such as pesticides or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

BeeLife works for the protection of bees based on the principle that 'bees serve as the canary in the gold mine', sounding the alarm that something is 'wrong in the environment'. Not least, bees create 30% of all our food by pollinating fruits, vegetables and arable crops such as sunflower and oilseed rape, having an inherent value that the Coordination is working to protect.

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