For Immediate Release
April 29, 2013
In a historic vote earlier today, the European Union created continent-wide restrictions on the use of bee-harming pesticides. Despite pesticide industry influence, a majority of countries voted to place a two year restriction on three neonicotinoid products linked to a wide-range of harms to honey bees: clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. The EU vote comes after significant findings by the European Food Safety Agency that these pesticides pose an unacceptable risk to bees and their use should be restricted. Along with habitat loss and pathogens, a growing body of science points to neonicotinoid pesticides as a key factor in drastically declining bee populations.
Paul Towers, a spokesperson for PAN North America released the following statement:
“European leaders followed the weight of the scientific evidence and moved swiftly to protect bees from the harms of neonicotinoid pesticides. U.S. officials, especially the Environmental Protection Agency, should be emboldened by European action rather than yielding to pressure from pesticide corporations. Unless U.S. officials act soon, bee populations may not recover, threatening the livelihood of beekeepers and the agricultural economies that rely on pollination and honey production.”
In Europe, advocates continue to press for even greater restrictions on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, largely used on sugarbeets and canola. Keith Tyrell, executive director of PAN-UK, released the following statement:
“Whilst we welcome the EU vote as a significant step forward, we are dismayed that it is only a temporary half measure which goes nowhere near far enough in protecting our bees and other vital pollinators from the harm of neonicotinoid pesticides.
PAN UK 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.”