by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) March 19, 2013
The European Commission said Tuesday it will try again to get member states to back a two-year ban on insecticides harmful to bees whose numbers have been in sharp and worrying decline.
EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg told EU agriculture ministers meeting in Brussels that he wanted to revisit the issue after the measure failed to get enough votes from national experts on a committee.
"The Commission still envisages to have measures in place" by July 1, Borg's spokesman said, adding that the issue will now go to an appeal committee after further discussions.
The Commission wants the insecticides banned for use on four major crops -- maize (corn), rape seed, sunflowers and cotton -- in a bid to prevent a disastrous collapse in the bee population.
Experts have isolated three compounds causing concern -- clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, known as neonicotinoids -- which are present in insecticides produced by pharmaceutical giants Bayer, Syngenta and Cruiser OSR.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said in a recent report that the insecticides posed "disturbing" risks to bees and other pollinating insects vital for human food production.
Swiss-based agrichemical giant Syngenta last month urged Brussels to withdraw the plan, saying the EFSA report was "fundamentally flawed".
Borg's spokesman said that with the plan under consideration since May 2012 and the EFSA report to hand, "the time is ripe to act".
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|