Europe Bans Bee Killing Pesticides

Europe Bans Bee Killing Pesticides

Written by Alex Reid
Posted May 2, 2013

The World's honeybee population has been in crisis for the past eight years, with 2013 being the worst by far. Because honeybees account for 80 percent of plant pollination by insects, the disappearance of these bees could one day lead to the loss of one-third of the food we eat — a catastrophic consequence.

For many year, the steadily declining bee population has confounded beekeepers and environmentalists alike, but many people now suspect a new class of pesticide — neonicotinoids — is behind the problem. Neonicotinoids (a pesticide based on nicotine) have been proven harmful to bees in 30 separate scientific studies, and individuals working with bees have witnessed the effects firsthand.

Larry Pender, a commercial beekeeper, has seen his bee population decrease significantly in recent years because of the pesticides. “When we put our bees next to fields where they use the neonicotinoids, our bees die,” he said. Pender noted that he has already lost nearly 3,000 hives (each containing between 30,000-40,000 bees) and is now down to just 1,800 hives. Last year alone, Pender lost half a million dollars and had to lay off five of his seven employees.

“I can't wait for the regulators to take their time,” Pender told CBS. “We need these bees now.”

Unfortunately for Pender, and others in the U.S., the EPA said their review of these pesticides will take up to five years.

However, across the Atlantic, some agriculturally progressive members of the EU are taking action to save the bees now. Experts from the 27 member nations met Monday morning to discuss a potential ban on three pesticides from the neonicotinoid family. The two-year ban was passed by the European Commission when 15 of the 27 members voted in favor. The ban will go into effect by the end of this year at the latest.

“I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion (~$29 billion) annually to European agriculture, are protected,” said Tonio Borg, the EC's top health official.

Environmental groups hailed the decision as a victory for science, as individuals dressed in bee costumes celebrated in Parliament Square in London. But not everyone is happy about the ban.

Representatives from Syngenta and Bayer (the companies which produce the banned pesticides) spoke out against the decision:

“The proposal is based on poor science and ignores a wealth of evidence from the field that these pesticides do not damage the health of bees,” said John Atkin, chief operating officer at Syngenta.

Scientists are also split on the issue — Professor Lin Field, head of biological chemistry and crop protection at Rothamsted Research, fears the ban may cause governments to overlook other factors which may be impacting bee populations, including climate change and viruses.

Others, however, support the EU's decision to err on the side of caution. “This is a victory for the precautionary principle, which is supposed to underlie environmental regulation,” said Dr. Lynn Dicks, research associate at the University of Cambridge.

Eight countries opposed the ban (including the UK), while four abstained from voting.

FREE EBOOK

Want to Erase Your Joint Pain?

Download our free guide and discover 5 of the most powerful joint-healing superfoods!

Inside you’ll discover:

  • The “Alaskan Gold” That Cuts Stiffness by 67%!
  • The Healing Secrets of the Tang Dynasty That Can Slash Arthritis Symptoms by 50%
  • Mother Nature’s Ibuprofen (It’s in your cupboard right now)
  • And The One Food You Eat Every Day... But That Could Lead to an Early Death!

Don’t reach for those pills until you watch THIS:

Pharma companies make $450 billion a year selling drugs to you and 350 million other Americans. Globally, that figure rises to over $1 trillion.

However, new health breakthroughs could mean the end of Big Pharma. These amazing treatments work FAR BETTER than the drugs that power the trillion-dollar pharmaceutical industry.

Discover those breakthroughs and much more in The Vital Truth.

4 Tips to Protect Your Body and Extend Your Life