EU governments pass total ban on “bee-harming” pesticides

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EU governments pass total ban on "bee-harming" pesticidesFriends of the Earth Malta has welcomed the fact that today, EU governments passed a total ban on bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides on outdoor crops.

This comprehensive neonicotinoid ban, covering all outdoor crops, is a tremendous victory for our bees and the wider environment, it said.

FoE Malta added that the European Commission must now focus on developing a strong pollinator initiative that boosts bee-friendly habitat and helps farmers cut pesticide-use.

“Many farmers are already successfully growing crops without neonicotinoids. But too many other damaging chemicals and practices are still used. Farmers need more support from the European Commission and national governments to farm with nature – not against it,” the NGO said.

Martin Galea De Giovanni, Director of Friends of the Earth Malta commended the Maltese authority’s support for the ban.

He explained how FoE Malta is proposing that the Government draws up a national strategy or action plan for bees and pollinators linked to biodiversity and climate change actions, food security and farming initiatives and rural and urban development plans.

This is already available in other European countries including the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Wales, all Ireland, France and Norway, he said.

Martin Galea De Giovanni remarked that, “our lives would be poorer in many ways in a world without bees. We take bees and other pollinating creatures for granted at our peril. They are vital for a resilient, thriving natural environment and for stable, healthy food supplies including the varied, colourful and nutritious diets we have come to expect.”

The Ministry for the Environment Sustainable Development and Climate Change, in a statement said that, today, Malta supported the precautionary approach as it did with regard to the herbicide glyphosate.

The representatives of the 28 EU member states took a decision on the European Commission’s proposal to extend the partial ban of three types of insecticides referred to as neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiametoxam), the Ministry said.

The Committee took note of the report prepared by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

EFSA took a precautionary approach, concluding that, “it could not ascertain that these substances were not harming the bee population. It is a well-known fact that the bee population, especially in Europe, is declining at an alarming rate.”

The Ministry added that the EU Commission proposed that these substances will only be used in a very limited form and only in permanent closed greenhouses and for the treatment of seeds intended to be used only in permanent greenhouses.

 

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