|EJF and PAN UK condemn failure of EU to suspend use of neonicotinoid pesticides|
The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) and Pesticide Action Network (PAN UK) condemn the failure of EU member States to support a two year suspension of the use of certain types of neonicotinoid pesticides on crops attractive to bees, highlighting that this will add to the pressure on bee populations that has caused a massive decline in their numbers.
EJF and PAN have called for a moratorium on all uses of neonicotinoids pending an immediate and urgent independent review of the latest science, the evidence of which indicates that neonicotinoids are harmful to bees and other pollinators which are vital to agricultural eco-systems. The partial suspension that failed today to find the qualified majority support of EU member States, had been proposed by the European Commission in the light of the recent findings of the European Food Safety Authority that the use of three types of neonicotinoids was “unacceptable” to bee health. Had the EU member States voted to restrict the use of neonicoinoids, it would have signified a landmark decision by European Governments to stand up for nature and biodiversity.
EJF and PAN also criticised the UK Government abstention on the vote and its ongoing failure to act on a major threat to the health of our agricultural eco-systems. The UK Government’s abstention contributed to a missed opportunity for real action to be taken to protect bees.
EJF and PAN reiterated their call for an immediate moratorium on all neonicotinoid pesticides and urge the Government to adopt a Pollinator Action Plan to protect all bees and pollinators.
Keith Tyrell, Director of PAN UK, said:
“Today’s vote is a major disappointment in our campaign to protect our bees and other vital pollinators from the harm of neonicotinoid pesticides. PAN will continue to campaign for a complete moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, and for a thorough and independent review of the scientific research on the subject.”
Steve Trent, Executive Director of EJF, said:
“The vote today was an opportunity for real action to be taken to protect bees. EJF is dismayed that despite the overwhelming scientific evidence of the threats posed by neonicotinoids, and recommendations from the EU's own Food Safety Authority, the EU member states rejected the proposal to restrict their use. Such restrictions would have signified a landmark decision by European Governments to stand up for nature and biodiversity in the face of pressure from pesticide manufacturers. We are disappointed that they did not take a stand to protect the environment and food security, and will continue to campaign for action against these deadly pesticides.”