French farm ministry caves in to farmers to reintroduce bee-killing pesticide

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Bees poisoned by pesticides

Neonicotinoid pesticides kill bees. The governments and scientists know this. They were banned in order to protect bees in various countries. In France the ban has been lifted under pressure from sugar beet growers to save their crop from a virus.

Bees poisoned by pesticides

Bees poisoned by pesticides. Montage: PoC from images in the public domain.

Greenpeace, former ministers, beekeepers and environmentalists have accused President Macron’s administration of caving in unjustifiably.

France’s farm ministry said that they had granted a request from the growers to suspend the ban which was imposed in 2018, for two years in the hope that it will deal with what the farmers considered to be an emergency.

The ministry said that the beet growers could lose up to 50 percent of their yield in 2020 because the alternative pesticide is ineffective against aphids. Spraying feels will still remain banned but the exemption applies to pre-treated seeds.

The pesticide cripples or kills bees when it acts on their nervous systems preventing them returning to their hives.

A honey producer who has four hundred hives in Loire, Michel Tremeau, said that the damaging effect that this pesticide has on bees indicates that it is only a matter of time before people realise that it has a similar effect on people. France produces 38 million tonnes of sugar beet annually.

Comment: I am surprised to learn that there is no effective pesticide other than neonicotinoids which is effective against aphids. Surely there is an alternative which is safe to bees?