20°C / 22°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 20°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 18°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 8°C
  • Sat
  • 19°C
  • 10°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 16°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 16°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 16°C
  • 11°C
  • Sat
  • 23°C
  • 9°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 4°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 3°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 17°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 17°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 17°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 16°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Sat
  • 18°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 20°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 17°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 17°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 11°C
  • Sat
  • 19°C
  • 8°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 14°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 12°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 13°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 17°C
  • 11°C
  • Sun
  • 18°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 15°C
  • 11°C
  • Tue
  • 14°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 13°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 11°C
  • Sat
  • 24°C
  • 8°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 10°C
  • Sat
  • 20°C
  • 6°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 5°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 3°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 1°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 5°C
  • Sat
  • 22°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 18°C
  • 10°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 20°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 16°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 8°C

EU court upholds insecticide ban to protect bees

The court says the EU’s ‘precautionary principle’ meant that the 28-member bloc could take measures if there was scientific uncertainty about risks to human health or the environment.

A hive of bees. Picture: Freeimages.com

LUXEMBOURG - An EU court upheld on Thursday a partial ban on three insecticides known as neonicotinoids, saying that the European Commission had been right in 2013 to restrict their use to protect bees.

The ruling covers three active substances - imidacloprid developed by Bayer CropScience, clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer CropScience as well as Syngenta’s thiamethoxam.

The court said the EU’s “precautionary principle” meant that the EU could take measures if there was scientific uncertainty about risks to human health or the environment and did not have to wait until it was clear harm had been caused.

The General Court of the European Union did, however, annual restrictions on the use of a different class of pesticide, BASF’s fipronil, because the Commission had not carried out an adequate assessment of the impact of its measures.

The partial ban in 2013 meant neonicotinoids could not be used on maize, rapeseed and some spring cereals. However, they could still be used for crops such as sugar beet.

The Commission had decided to review the approvals because of the loss of bee colonies due to the misuse of pesticides.

A majority of EU countries last month backed a proposal to ban all use of neonicotinoids outdoors, limiting their use to crops in greenhouses.

Bayer and Syngenta have warned that banning the insecticides would mean farmers reverting to older chemicals and spraying more.

They also argue that the European Food and Safety Agency had based its finding of possible risk was based on excessively high doses in laboratory tests and demanded field studies be carried out on an unrealistically large area.

Syngenta said the court’s ruling was “disappointing and unfortunate” and that scientific innovation was the only way to produce sufficient food and protect the environment.

Campaign group Friends of the Earth has said new evidence has shown neonicotinoids persist in the environment for many years, drifting into water and wildflowers next to crops, and that healthy oilseed yields since the partial ban show the chemicals are not needed.

Parties have two months to decide whether to lodge an appeal at the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice.

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus