Tag Archives: Owen Paterson

Owen Paterson will NOT support neonicotinoids ban

15 Mar

Today, The European Commission (EC) will vote for a proposal that intends to ban the use of three neonicotinoids. Unfortunately,  Secretary of State for Environment of UK, Owen Paterson , will not be supporting it.

Owen-Paterson “Owen Paterson is about to put the short-term interests of farmers and the pesticide industry ahead of Britain’s food supply,” said Ian Bassin, campaign director at Avaaz (one of the worlds most influential activist networks). From one side, the spokesman for chemical manufacture giants Bayer claim that a suspension would reduce food production. On the burning question of dwindling honey bee populations the organization weakly deflected  by holding the varroa mite responsible.

At the other end, the UN report released in 2011 listed different factors responsible for the decline in bee populations including pesticide. “The way humanity manages or mismanages its nature-based assets, including pollinators, will in part define our collective future in the 21st century. The fact is that of the 100 crop species that supply 90 percent of the world’s food, bees and other insects pollinate more than 70 percent” said the  UN Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner.

In 2012, research, published by Science, show that a specific group of pesticides called neonicotinoids are responsible for the decline of bees in the UK and France.

Despite the mountain of evidence, Paterson announced: “I have asked the EC to wait for the results of our field trials, rather than rushing to a decision.” Unfortunately, these results will not be available before Friday’s vote.

ECDespite politicians across Europe and almost three-quarters of the UK public supporting the ban, Bayer and Defra still deny the danger of using neonicotinoids.

If today Paterson does not support the measure at the EC, there will be little chance for the pesticide neonicotinoid to be banned. Leaving no chance for pollinators like bees to have a future, and thereby ensuring a gloomier one for us.

[Photo via Wikimedia Commons]

[Photo credit by tiseb]