The Lune de Miel® Foundation is campaigning to ban neonicotinoid insecticides

Bees have existed for more than 80 million years. Yet since the 1990s, bee colonies have been subjected to increased chemical and biological stress that is putting them in danger: various types of atmospheric pollution, Asian hornets, bacterial and viral attacks, and the lack of balanced and accessible food supplies.

Although there may be many causes as to why a bee colony dies, field observations and various studies point to the toxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides, a class of neurotoxic insecticides used to treat seeds.

Banning neonicotinoids will help improve the health of bees and wild pollinators. For example, in Italy, where neonicotinoid insecticides for maize seed coating are banned, the observed mortality decreased from 37.5% in 2007-2008 to below the natural level of 15% in 2015.[1]

The ban on neonicotinoid insecticides will have no impact on agricultural yields. Indeed, since these insecticides entered the market, several reports and publications [2] have argued that the use of these molecules has not led to a significant increase in yields for farmers. Two years after the establishment of the European moratorium on three neonicotinoids, the 2014/2015 production figures in the European Union have not seen drastically reduced yields but record increases for oil seeds (rapeseed, sunflower, soya and flax).

In 2013, the European Commission decided to limit temporarily (for two years) the use of three neonicotinoid insecticides (thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, clothianidin), following a report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the risk of these insecticides to pollinators. This key decision is not enough, since other neonicotinoids that are highly dangerous to bees remain on the market.

 

Furthermore, European law allows a Member State to ban the use of plant protection products in line with the precautionary principle.

  Like 76% of French people,[3] the Lune de Miel® Foundation wants to ban the entire neonicotinoid family to prevent the industry from simply substituting in a similar product after a particular product has been withdrawn.

 From 10 May, the biodiversity bill – which provides for a ban on neonicotinoid insecticides – will be subject to a vote in the Senate (having been adopted at second reading by the National Assembly).

 

Let’s continue to fight for the complete and definitive ban on these insecticides that have such devastating consequences for our bees, pollinators, environment and ecosystem!

[1] Porrini C. et al. (2008). “Rete per il monitoraggio dei fenomeni di spopolamento e mortalità degli alveari in Italia (APENET)”. ApoideaApoidea, 5 (2), 83-87.

[2] Source: Center for Food Safety “Heavy Costs: weighing the value of neonicotinoid insecticides in Agriculture”, March 2014
[3] IFOP poll for Agir pour l’Environnement – 1er March 2016
“Projects supported by the Lune de Miel® Foundation in 2016

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