Online petition persuades EU to act on harmful pesticides

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Success! The European Commission has listened to the 2.2 million people who signed the Avaaz online petition and proposed that member states restrict the use of  three neonicotinoid pesticides  linked to the decline of bees.

The Commission will be asking EU countries to suspend the use of clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam  on sunflowers, rapeseed, cotton, maize and other crops which bees are attracted to. The proposals mean the chemicals could be banned from use on flowering crops in Europe as early as July.

European Commission health spokesman Frederic Vincent said: “We are requesting member states to suspend for two years the use of the pesticides on seeds, granulates and sprays for crops which attract bees. We hope the regulation can be adopted before March.”

The proposals will enter EU law on 25 February if a majority of Europe’s member states vote in favour. France and the Netherlands are supportive but the UK and Germany are reported to be reluctant. The Commission wants restrictions in place by July and the measures will be reviewed after two years.

Luis Morago, from campaign group Avaaz , said:  “This could mark a tipping point in our battle, but it does not go far enough. Over 2.2 million people want the European Commission to face-down spurious German and British opposition and push for comprehensive ban of neonicotinoid pesticides!”

Friends of the Earth also believes this “hugely significant EU proposal” promises a first, important step on the road to turning around the decline of our bees. “The UK Government must throw its weight behind this,” it said. “The evidence linking neonicotinoids to declining bee populations is growing. We can’t afford to ignore the threat they pose to these crucial pollinators.”

11 responses to “Online petition persuades EU to act on harmful pesticides

  1. Hooray! Let’s hear it for people power. Now if all those Brits and Germans who actually eat food that is pollinated (2/3rds of what they eat) raise their voices, maybe their governments will stop obstructing. i’m sure at the end of the 2 year ban bees will be recovering and the rest of the world will understand that banning these worst of the worst is a good thing.

  2. Reblogged this on Synthesis and commented:
    Here’s some breaking news on pollinator decline from Green Living London!

  3. Reblogged this on Science on the Land and commented:
    argylesock says… this is great news! But why only a two-year suspension? Why not ban these pesticides forever?

    • I agree, these pesticides should be banned indefinitely! It seems they will be suspended for two years initially. This will then be reviewed in a couple of years time and the ban can then be extended, as long as the member states agree to the decision.

  4. I did sign the petition and I am thrilled to see its positive repercussion 🙂

  5. Besides being a fantastic success for people power, it is a success for the natural world, which has no voice. Should they be able to rush these regulations through by March, the EC may be able to negate in part, the drastic effect endured on our insects from the 2012 climate.

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