On the 27th of April, EU Member States will vote on whether to extend the current restrictions on neonicotinoids, to all open-air uses. This follows the judgement of the European Commission, that three neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) "can no longer be considered safe due to the identified risks for bees". The Save the Bees Coalition has worked to extend the ban on these bee-killing insecticides. The Coalition demands a restriction for all open-air uses of neonicotinoids; this policy is supported by overwhelming scientific evidence, and the European Food Safety Authority’s confirmation of risks they pose to bees. The end of the battle to ban neonicotinoids may at last be in sight. The Coalition met with Jean Claude Juncker's cabinet, who assured us of the EU Commission's commitment to improving bees’ health and safety. The proof of this determination is the vote scheduled for the 27th of April. A scientific review by EFSA had set the wheels in motion, and there can be no denying the scientific evidence. It is time for Member States to take a bold step and vote for a total ban on neonicotinoids, to remove the threat to bees and pollinators. BeeLife's president, Francesco Panella, remarked: "On April 27th, the European Community must end this biocidal pesticide policy. We cannot continue to be divided - we must unite around the science and the need to defend pollinators. What is at stake are: scientific truth, the food sovereignty of the EU and the credibility of public authorities, in defence of the health of citizens and the environment If any of the Member States cripples Europe through indecision once again, it will clearly reveal what 'national sovereignty' really means for the EU: total surrender to powerful commercial interests and a confirmation of the anti-democratic power of multi-national agrochemical companies." Beekeepers demand that the Member States vote to extend the neonicotinoids ban; they want to see harmony among the European institutions, taking into account the recent votes in the European Parliament. The day after EFSA published its review of neonicotinoids on February 28th, the European Parliament voted almost unanimously to adopt the Erdõs report on beekeeping. The report recommends a ban on pollinator-harming pesticides. EFSA’s conclusions confirm the need for an extended ban. "For all outdoor-use of these substances, there was at least one part of the assessment which indicated a high risk, leading to the conclusion that overall these neonicotinoids represent a risk to bees". The ball is now firmly in the court of Member States; they have the power to save the bees and improve the conditions for all pollinators.
Contact: Andrés SALAZAR, BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.