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Europe Ready to Ban Pesticides That Harm Bees

Europe is getting ready to enforce a total ban on pesticides that harm bees.

You might have heard in recent years about the alarming decline in bee populations across the globe.  Scientists are looking at several factors including bee viruses, mites, genetic factors, malnutrition, and pesticides as the cause. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) directly impacts man because it causes economic loss and loss of food crops.

According to the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the honeybee’s pollination is worth an estimated $200 billion in global crops.  In short, a shortage of bees means a dramatic decline in the world’s agricultural crops. As a result, Europe is getting ready to impose a total ban on bee-harming pesticides.

 

This ban will effectively stop the use of the most widely implemented insecticides in Europe.  These insecticides, neonicotinoids, have been linked to bee deaths and have been used for over 20 years.

 

In 2013, the European Commission temporarily banned the use of three neonicotinoids on some crops.  The new proposal is asking for a complete ban of neonicotinoids in European fields. However, it does not ban pesticides on plants that are solely grown in greenhouses.

 

Martin Dermine of Pesticide Action Network Europe said, “The amount of scientific evidence on the toxicity of these insecticides is so high that there is no way these chemicals should remain on the market.”

 

The European Commission found evidence that pesticides imidacloprid and clothianidin posed high risk to bees.  And Paul de Zylvia from Friends of the Earth, said, “The science is catching up with the pesticide industry – the EU and UK government must call time on neonics. Going neonic-free puts farmers more in control of their land instead of having to defer to advice from pesticide companies.”

 

 

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