A little less than a year after it was set up, the Pesticides Commission, which is studying pesticide authorization procedures in the European Union, voted on its report in plenary in Strasbourg on 16 January.
With 526 votes in favour, 66 against and 72 abstentions, the adoption of the recommendations of the Pesticides Commission was accepted by an overwhelming majority. BeeLife is pleased that all "pro-pesticide" amendments have been rejected.
BeeLife was auditioned by this commission. During the hearing, scientific advisor Noa Simon-Delso was able to recall the dangers of certain products for bees, the shortcomings in terms of evaluation and the need for the application of EFSA's evaluation guidelines on pesticide risk for pollinators. The Commission has retained this information.
The report also calls for more independent national experts to represent the Member States within EFSA, to avoid conflicts of interest, and recalls the desirability of having all data available on time during the evaluation of an active substance in order to avoid the use of confirmatory data which allows potentially harmful substances to be found in nature. Other emblematic applications: that agrochemical companies make public all their scientific studies when applying for a marketing authorization and that the health authorities ban the "copy / paste" studies made by firms in their evaluation report of the active substances, like the now famous "Monsanto Papers".
MEPs also call for speeding up the implementation of the pilot project "Environmental monitoring of the use of pesticides by honey bees" and to set up an epidemiological study of the impacts of phytosanitary products on human health.
For Francesco Panella, President of BeeLife, it is essential that this important and forward-looking position is urgently translated into improved public decision-making at EU level.
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Contact: Andrés SALAZAR, BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination: email@example.com
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.