Under draft regulations from the European commission, fields all across Europe could soon be free from the most widely used insecticides, in an effort to cut the risk to the world’s dwindling bee populations, The Guardian reported.
If a majority of European Union members states approve the proposal, a ban could go into effect as early as the end of 2017. The ban are for a total ban on all uses of the neonicotinoids and the only exception extends to those plants contained strictly in greenhouses.
Bees — vital to crops worldwide — have faced sharply declining numbers in the last several decades from a combination of disease, loss of habitat and use of pesticides, especially a class of insecticide called neonicotinoids, which have seen widespread use in the last 20 years and have been linked to serious problems in bee populations.
Scientific consensus indicates neonicotinoid pesticides cause harm to bees. Three neonicotinoids were banned temporarily by the EU in 2013, but that measure only applied to their use on certain crops.
As Martin Dermine, a member of Pesticide Action Network Europe told The Guardian, “The amount of scientific evidence on the toxicity of these insecticides is so high that there is no way these chemicals should remain on the market.”
A vote on the proposals could come as early as May, and would come into effect a few months later if passed.
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This proposal follows closely on the heels of the UN report that ripped the use of pesticides to shreds, “arguing that it was a myth they were needed to feed the world and calling for a new global convention to control their use.”
Regardless of what side of the fence you’re on, we are coming to an important impasse in terms of moving forward globally in agreement on global climate issues, especially those that negatively affect pollinator populations.