April 30th, 2013
Updated 04/30/2013 at 9:29 pm
In a major victory for environmental preservation, the European Union has announced a potential history-making ban on neonicotinoid pesticides that have been linked to the death of bees worldwide.
As irritating as bees can be, everyone knows how essential these tiny insects are not only for flowers, but for the entire ecosystem and agricultural purposes at large. Unfortunately, the bee population has dropped dramatically over the last few years across the EU and the United States. There are multiple factors to consider, but one large factor is the use of bee-destroying pesticides. This is why the European Union has decided to heavily restrict the use of these pesticides on crops, despite being split on the decision among the states.
Despite 15 nations voting against the ban, EU rules allow for a designated ruling body to enact limitations on the use of neonicotinoids. The EU commission may now put into effect a 2 year restriction on neonicotinoids found in pesticides – the chemicals responsible for harming bees. Furthermore, the UK won’t have the option to opt of of these restrictions (even though they voted against a ban due to ‘inconclusive scientific evidence’).
“The European Commission will decide on the adoption of a proposal of restriction on use of 3 pesticides (nenicotinoids (NNI) – clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam) following vote in the Appeal Committee on April 29 2013 – where the proposal was supported by 15 Member States but did not reach a qualified majority,” a post reads on the European Commission website.
“The Commission will go ahead with its text in the coming weeks,” said EU Health Commissioner, Tonio Borg ffter Monday’s vote. ”I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over 22bn euros (£18.5bn; $29bn) annually to European agriculture, are protected.”