S&Ds demand a ban on the pesticides that kill bees and threaten biodiversity

Sections

Agriculture & Food
Climate & Environment
Today the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) published a risk assessment report confirming that certain substances used in pesticides - neonicotinoids clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam - are killing bees and other pollinators.
 
Our diversity is at stake since bees started to disappear in Europe in the 1990s, because 84% of plant species and 76% of food production are dependent on pollination by bees.
 
This is why the Socialists and Democrats will call for the ban of those neonicotinoids and other dangerous substances proven to be noxious to bee populations, as well as for economic measures to support the apiculture sector, in a European Parliament plenary vote tomorrow.
 
Momchil Nekov, the S&D spokesperson on this report, said:
 
“The bees provide a major agricultural service - pollination, without which, European agriculture would not be as we know it. There are numerous threads for their existence. The use of some active substances which are known to be harmful to bees, as well as the increase of pests and diseases, are among the major challenges the sector is facing. In the report, we demand stronger support for the sector, with a 50% increase of the budget for national programmes for apiculture, so that these challenges can be better tackled. More funding for research and for the training of beekeepers will also benefit the sector.
 
“Honey is one of the most counterfeited products in the world. In fact, one third of the honey sold in the EU today is adulterated.
 
“Right now the labelling is very vague. So in order to tackle honey adulteration and fraudulent imports, especially from China, we demand clearer labelling including both the origin by country - not just EU or non-EU- and the percentage from every country.
 
“This is a very important challenge for honey-producing countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Spain, Portugal, France, Croatia and Hungary.”
 
S&D spokesperson on agriculture, Eric Andrieu MEP, said:
 
“Bees are indispensable to preserve biodiversity and also our food security. We know that neonicotinoids are harmful, so let’s ban them in agriculture now!
 
 “In some parts of Europe, the bee mortality rate goes up to 80%. We must act urgently: we are short of 13 million hives to satisfy the pollination of crops in Europe. The repopulation of bees demands the restoration of ecosystems and the progressive ban of pesticides in agriculture. Ultimately, we must be able to reach a zero-pesticide agriculture.”