EU plans new bid to protect bees

Mar 19, 2013
A man in Berne last month. wears a T-shirt reading in French "Protect our bees". The European Commission says it will try again to get member states to back a two-year ban on insecticides harmful to bees whose numbers have been in sharp and worrying decline.

The European Commission said Tuesday it will try again to get member states to back a two-year ban on insecticides harmful to bees whose numbers have been in sharp and worrying decline.

EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg told EU agriculture ministers meeting in Brussels that he wanted to revisit the issue after the measure failed to get enough votes from national experts on a committee.

"The Commission still envisages to have measures in place" by July 1, Borg's spokesman said, adding that the issue will now go to an appeal committee after further discussions.

The Commission wants the insecticides banned for use on four major crops—maize (corn), rape seed, sunflowers and cotton—in a bid to prevent a disastrous collapse in the .

Experts have isolated three compounds causing concern—clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, known as —which are present in insecticides produced by pharmaceutical giants Bayer, Syngenta and Cruiser OSR.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said in a recent report that the posed "disturbing" risks to bees and other vital for human food production.

Swiss-based agrichemical giant Syngenta last month urged Brussels to withdraw the plan, saying the EFSA report was "fundamentally flawed".

Borg's spokesman said that with the plan under consideration since May 2012 and the EFSA report to hand, "the time is ripe to act".

Explore further: Moth study suggests hidden climate change impacts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU hints at insecticide ban over threat to bees

Jan 16, 2013

The European Commission hinted on Wednesday that it could ban several insecticides, some made by German chemicals giant Bayer, after scientists found disturbing evidence of harm to bees.

EU stops short of insecticide ban

Jan 28, 2013

The European Commission said Monday it would draw up "stringent" measures to protect bees from dangers attributed to certain pesticides, but pulled back from an anticipated ban.

Agrichemical giant Syngenta faults EU bee plans

Feb 15, 2013

Swiss-based agrichemical giant Syngenta on Friday urged Brussels to withdraw plans to restrict the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, saying blaming them for the death of bees was wrongheaded.

EU proposal to protect bees stirs hornets' nest

Jan 31, 2013

An attempt to protect Europe's bee population has kicked up a hornets' nest. On Thursday, the EU's commissioner for health and consumer policy, Tonio Borg, proposed to restrict the use of three pesticides—called nenicotinoids—to ...

France to ban Swiss pesticide as bee threat

Jun 01, 2012

The French government is to ban a pesticide made by Swiss giant Syngenta used in rapeseed cultivation that has been found to shorten bees' lifespan, Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said Friday.

Recommended for you

Sharks contain more pollutants than polar bears

21 hours ago

The polar bear is known for having alarmingly high concentrations of PCB and other pollutants. But researchers have discovered that Greenland sharks store even more of these contaminants in their bodies.

Moth study suggests hidden climate change impacts

Apr 15, 2014

A 32-year study of subarctic forest moths in Finnish Lapland suggests that scientists may be underestimating the impacts of climate change on animals and plants because much of the harm is hidden from view.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.