European nations approved a policy banning pesticides that kill bees namely insecticides of the neonicotinoid group. The EU endorsed a proposal by the European Commission to further restrict the use of three active substances for which a scientific review concluded that their “outdoor use harms bees” an EU environmental official said.
The ban envision a total withdrawal of three active substances – imidachloprid, manufactured by Bayer CropScience, chlorothianidine, manufactured by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer CropScience, and thiamethoxam by Syngenta.
Greenpeace, a global environmentalist organization said it was “great news for bees, other pollinators and our wider environment”. But it added that “the EU must make sure they’re not simply replaced with other harmful pesticides.”
The three substances have been intensively used over the last two decades, and were designed to control sap-feeding insects such as aphids and root-feeding grubs.
Pesticides are believed to be killing about 200,000 honey-bearing families a year by causing the so-called colony collapse disorder, the UN says. In addition, the chemical and biological components of these substances accumulate in the body of farmers, in water, soil and even fall on the table to the end user.
In the meantime, two European chemical giants manufacturing pesticides expressed regrets and scepticism over the move that was not exactly unexpected.
So, environmentalists are rejoicing, chemical industry is skeptical. What farmers and bees will have to say?