Tag Archives: Syngenta

Ban on Neonicotinoids: UK reacts

12 Apr

A few weeks ago the European commission failed to ban the world’s most used pesticides, neonicotinoids. You may remember, the representative from the UK, Owen Paterson voted against the ban. After this event, a committee of MPs reacted by urging the ban of three types of neonicotinoid till they get concrete scientific evidence.

joan walley

“We believe that the weight of scientific evidence now warrants precautionary action, so we are calling for a moratorium on pesticides linked to bee decline to be introduced by 1 January next year,” Joan Walley, the Labour MP who chairs the Environmental Audit Committee.

A key study done by Prof. David Goulson showed the correlation between the use of neonicotinoid and the decline in the queen bee population. Without waiting for the government decision gardening shops like B& Q, Wickes and Homebase have stopped selling this pesticide. Meanwhile in Europe, countries like France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia are slowly suspending certain use of neonicotinoid.

There is however, a powerful minority that believe the ban of the pesticides will be a economic disaster and refuse to admit that the pesticide is the cause of CCD. Bayer and Syngenta, the two biggest manufacturers of neonicotinoids, are stating clearly that the decline of bee populations has nothing to do with the use of pesticide but stems from other factors.

Honey bee and flower with extrafloral nectaries“The long-term, real world, scientific reality is that a ban wouldn’t save a single hive. The decline in bee health is one of the biggest challenges facing agriculture and Syngenta remains committed to fully understanding and improving bee health.” said a spokesman for the organization.

This after millions of people signed a petition pledging their against the use of pesticide. “If we signed up to it, why don’t we act for it,” Walley added. This moratorium on the use of pesticide is the first real action taken by UK.  This initiative will allow new field research to get the “best, most up to date scientific evidence” said a spokesman from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

We hope to see hope for our little friends and optimistically the beginning of the end for destructive neonicotinoids.

[Photo credit by stopclimatechoascoalition]

[Photo credit by DereckKeat]

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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]