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Neonicotinoids Banned to all Open-Air Uses in the EU

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

On this day, 27th April 2018, the Member States of the European Union voted to extend the restrictions on neonicotinoid insecticides, to a total ban for all open-air uses. BeeLife and its members celebrate this historic victory, for better protection of: bees, pollinators, insects and birds. The European Commission called the vote, following the European Food Safety Agency’s scientific judgement, that three major neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) : ”can no longer be considered safe, due to the identified risks for bees".

Sixteen countries (a qualified majority of 76% of Member States) voted to extend the ban on neonicotinoids tp all ‘open-air uses. After the Commission confirmed this historic decision, MEP Eric Andrieu remarked: "We scarcely believed it could happen! But it is now clear that the combined efforrts of the NGOs, the media and many millions of EU citizens, finally paid off".

Bee Celebration at Schuman Square, Brussels 27 April.

Overwhelming scientific evidence on the threat posed to bees by neonicotinoids, played a crucial role in today's vote. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) had published a scientific review in February, which left nobody in doubt, that neonicotinoids are deadly for bees.

Francesco Panella, President of BeeLife, stressed the importance of today's vote: "April 27th, 2018 is an important date, a historic date for all of Europe. With the support of the vast majority of Member States, Europe has banned the most toxic neonicotinoids. Since 1994, the most widely-used insecticides in the world have been accused of killing bees, pollinators and wildlife, but it was always denied. Finally, the pesticide companies have been caught red-handed at the scene of the crime.One of the pillars of industrial chemical farming, which doesn’t give a damn about the toxic effect of these pesticides on human health or the environment, has finally come crashing down! It is time for a total ban on all of the neonicotinoid family of pesticides, such as acetamiprid and thiacloprid, with all their systemic and persistent effects. It is time for us to take a deep look at better methods of sowing seeds and protecting crops using crop rotation for example. If we can free ourselves from the poisonous burden imposed by the agrochemical companies, better farming alternatives already exist. They can be adopted very quickly; we just have to see a healthier vision of our environmental future and demand it”. Today's vote is a historic victory for environmental NGOs, beekeepers and particularly for bees and wildlife. Today, the Member States have set their course towards a bee-friendly farm landscape, to provide a better environment for pollinators, wildlife and people.

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