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  1. #1
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    Default Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...-banned-europe



    A bee collects pollen from a sunflower in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
    EU states have voted in favour of a proposal to restrict the use of pesticides linked to serious harm in bees.


    Europe will enforce the world's first continent-wide ban on widely used insecticides alleged to cause serious harm to bees, after a European commission vote on Monday.

    The suspension is a landmark victory for millions of environmental campaigners, backed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), concerned about a dramatic decline in the bee population. The vote also represents a serious setback for the chemical producers who make billions each year from the products and also UK ministers, who voted against the ban. Both had argued the ban would harm food production.

    Although the vote by the 27 EU member states on whether to suspend the insect nerve agents was supported by 15 nations, but did not reach the required majority under voting rules. The hung vote hands the final decision to the European commission, which will implement the ban.

    Tonio Borg, health and consumer commissioner, said: "Our proposal is based on a number of risks to bee health identified by the EFSA, [so] the European commission will go ahead with its plan in coming weeks."

    Friends of the Earth's head of campaigns, Andrew Pendleton, said: "This decision is a significant victory for common sense and our beleaguered bee populations. Restricting the use of these pesticides could be an historic milestone on the road to recovery for these crucial pollinators."

    The UK, which abstained in a previous vote, was heavily criticised for switching to a "no" vote on Monday.

    Joan Walley MP, chair of parliament's green watchdog, the environmental audit committee, whose investigation had backed a ban and accused ministers of "extraordinary complacency", said the vote was a real step in the right direction, but added:
    "A full Commons debate where ministers can be held to account is more pressing than ever."
    Greenpeace's chief scientist, Doug Parr, said: "By not supporting the ban, environment secretary, Owen Paterson, has exposed the UK government as being in the pocket of big chemical companies and the industrial farming lobby."

    On Sunday, the Observer revealed the intense secret lobbying by Paterson and Syngenta.
    The environment minister, Lord de Mauley, countered, saying:

    "Having a healthy bee population is a top priority for us but we did not support the proposal because our scientific evidence doesn't support it. We will now work with farmers to cope with the consequences as a ban will carry significant costs for them."

    Syngenta, which makes one of the three neonicotinoids that have been suspended, said:
    "The proposal ignores a wealth of evidence from the field that these pesticides do not damage the health of bees. The EC should [instead] address the real reasons for bee health decline: disease, viruses and loss of habitat."

    Bees and other insects are vital for global food production as they pollinate three-quarters of all crops. The plummeting numbers of pollinators in recent years has been blamed on disease, loss of habitat and, increasingly, the near ubiquitous use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

    A series of high-profile scientific studies has linked neonicotinoids – the world's most widely used insecticides – to huge losses in the number of queen bees produced and big rises in the numbers of "disappeared" bees – those that fail to return from foraging trips.

    The commission proposed the suspension after the EFSA concluded in January that three neonicotinoids – thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid – posed an unnacceptable risk to bees. The three will be banned from use for two years on flowering crops such as corn, oilseed rape and sunflowers, upon which bees feed.

    A spokesman for Bayer Cropscience said: "Bayer remains convinced neonicotinoids are safe for bees, when used responsibly and properly … clear scientific evidence has taken a back-seat in the decision-making process."

    Prof Simon Potts, a bee expert at the University of Reading, said: "The ban is excellent news for pollinators. The weight of evidence from researchers clearly points to the need to have a phased ban of neonicotinoids. There are several alternatives to using neonicotinoids and farmers will benefit from healthy pollinator populations as they provide substantial economic benefits to crop pollination."

    Neonicotinoids have been widely used for more than decade and are less harmful than some of the sprays they replaced, but scientific studies have increasingly linked them to poor bee health.

    Many observers, including the National Farmers' Union, accept that EU regulation is inadequate, as it only tests on honeybees and not the wild pollinators that service 90% of plants. The regulatory testing also only considers short-term effects and does not consider the combined effects of multiple pesticides. The chemical industry has warned that a ban on neonicotinoids would lead to the return of older, more harmful pesticides and crop losses but campaigners point out this has not happened during temporary suspensions in France, Italy and Germany and that the use of natural pest predators and crop rotation can tackle problems.

    "It is imperative that any alternative chemicals to be used in their place must first pass the same tests failed by the neonicotinoids," said Dr Christopher Connolly, a bee expert at the University of Dundee. "The recent findings have highlighted an urgent need for more rigorous safety testing protocols."

    Those who voted in favour - who WON the vote were:
    Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, France, Cyprus, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden

    In Brussels, the countries that voted against the ban were: the UK, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Austria and Portugal.

    Those who abstained were Ireland, Lithuania, Finland and Greece

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Outstanding news indeed. I hope the US gov is paying attention.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Be interesting to see how reversion to traditional insecticides and application methods will affect the bees.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Well that is indeed a large scale experiment.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Well that is indeed a large scale experiment.
    Indeed

    "This decision is a significant victory for common sense and our beleaguered bee populations..."

    Most proponents of knee jerk bans seem to quote common sense instead of science.

    Where is their proof? How is this going to affect crop yields? Food prices?

    I'm anxious to read about the unintended consequences of this.
    Try it. What could happen?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by JStinson View Post
    Indeed

    "This decision is a significant victory for common sense and our beleaguered bee populations..."

    Most proponents of knee jerk bans seem to quote common sense instead of science.

    Where is their proof? How is this going to affect crop yields? Food prices?

    I'm anxious to read about the unintended consequences of this.
    You took the words out of my mouth. We'll see what the results are at the end of the ban. I predict results which can be spun at least 18 different ways.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by JStinson View Post
    Where is their proof? How is this going to affect crop yields? Food prices?
    I'm curious..upon introduction of said pesticides did you see a major price reduction at the register for vegetables and such? Big question though ... will 2 years be long enough to show one way or another if the ban will provide enough evidence to show the damage done and better yet will crops yield more? less? or stay the same?
    Think about it....Buy American

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    well they banned neonics in France on corn, canola and sunflowers in 2000AD - that's thirteen years ago.
    I have not seen food riots or mass starvation in the streets of Paris reported as yet. France has arguably the most diverse agriculture Europe - crop yields are unaffected. As for 'knee jerk' reactions, the first reports of mass bee deaths in relation to neonics was in France in 1992 - that is 21 years ago. The pesticides were supposed to be tested for safety BEFORE they were unleashed on the world. Here we are 21 years down the line and Bayer and Syngenta have just been ordered to go back and do the tests which should have been done but enver were: full bee-life-cycle studies; soil and water persistence; chronic sub lethal poisoning tests. Never done. Nada. Zip. Well, the tests will be done now and they will have to PROVE these pesticides are safe for bees - with the whole world watching.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by JStinson View Post
    I'm anxious to read about the unintended consequences of this.
    One possible unintended consequence that some of my friends have mentioned is fewer bee yards when other farmers see beekeepers as advisaries.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Uberwilhelm View Post
    Outstanding news indeed. I hope the US gov is paying attention.
    Easy, there tickled pink... yields will drop, and sales of us commodities will continue to rise........ Now the trumpets will swear its the root of all our problems even though they have already learned to handle the mites... So the do-gooders without data will continue to try to get them banned here.....
    but hey that euro sure worked great!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    French bee-farmers lost over 1 million colonies in 2 years - 1994-1996 - following the introduction of Bayer's 'Gaucho' on sunflower crops at that time. Sunflower honey was the most valuable honey crop in France and accounted for 80% of bekeepers income - the honey harvest crashed by over 50% and the number of colonies fell by a similar amount.

    After four years of raging debate, in which Bayer denied everything, The French Government banned neonics on: corn, canola and sunflowers in 2000AD, after it convened the highest level Scientific Committee that is possible under the French Constitution. The Committee considered over 120 peer-reviewed scientific studies and banned the neonics - thirteen years ago! The ban has never been taken off.

    What happened to beekeepers?

    The bee numbers rebounded; the national honey crop doubled again.

    What happened to the farmers?
    The short answer is 'nothing'. Farmers went back to crop-rotation and using softer, non systemic pesticides IN RESPONSE to actual attacks by insects - instead of the blanket 'insurance-policy' use of systemic neonics on every seed, in every field, on every crop of corn, canola and sunflowers.

    If you take a trip to France, you will find the farmers fat, happy and drinking their favourite wine. Agriculture in France is booming - no drop in yields or profits.

    Conclusion, despite what the poison industry tells you, farmers do NOT have to use systemic poisons on every seed, in every field, year after year.

    FRENCH DOCUMENTARY : INTRODUCTION OF IMIDACLPRID IN 1994 CAUSED ONE MILLION DEAD BEE COLONIES BY 1997

    I strongly recommend that you watch at least the first 5 minutes of this documentary; it is a compelling testimony as to the destruction of the French beekeeping industry by Bayer's pesticides and the complete failure of all the European regulators and so-called watchdogs (EFSA).

    The documentary is in French, but the sub-titles are in English – and the visual evidence is compelling.


    The French bee-deaths documentary 'Temoin Genant' (Embarassing Witness) is now on Youtube; it deals with the disaster which struck the French beekeeping industry from -1994 – 1999, when over 400,000 bee colonies a year died, following the introduction of Bayer’s systemic neurotoxin Imidacloprid/ 'Gaucho' for use on sunflowers and maize.

    CLICK BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEOS


    This is the link for Part One:

    http://youtu.be/9boueJGtLPY

    Part Two

    http://youtu.be/XM2Agj68uCk

    Part three

    http://youtu.be/CC9fWFE8ExM

    Part Four

    http://youtu.be/okA8pxkoXX4

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    French bee-farmers lost over 1 million colonies in 2 years - 1994-1996 - following the introduction of Bayer's 'Gaucho' on sunflower crops at that time. Sunflower honey was the most valuable honey crop in France and accounted for 80% of bekeepers income - the honey harvest crashed by over 50% and the number of colonies fell by a similar amount.
    Way to be on the stick, 20 years later! wohooo...

    FYI Corn prices up the limit yeserday!!! thanks !

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Way to be on the stick, 20 years later! wohooo...

    FYI Corn prices up the limit yeserday!!! thanks !
    Yeh, given that American bee farmers have lost 5,650,000 colonies since 2007 - that's 'official' EPA/.USDA figures, your concern for your fellow Americans is deeply moving. With people like you around, 'who can stand against us'; this is the attitude that won the war: devil take the hindmost, I'm getting richer.

    If you add in the bee colonies which died since 1998, when neonics started to be used on a large scale, and from 2003, when Clothianidin was illegally given a 'conditional' license by the EPA without completing any field or life-cycle studies, many estimate that American bee farmers have lost over 10,000,000 colonies since the late 1990s.

    At $200 a hive that's $2 billion worth of bees.

    Many bee farmers have gone bankrupt; others have cut their losses and gone out of the business. Some of them have been in the bee business for three generations.

    Never mind. You just keep planting those neurotoxins in the soil. Screw the bees, the birds and the wildlife.
    Do you draw water from a well near your fields by any chance?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post


    What happened to the farmers?
    The short answer is 'nothing'. Farmers went back to crop-rotation and using softer, non systemic pesticides IN RESPONSE to actual attacks by insects - instead of the blanket 'insurance-policy' use of systemic neonics on every seed, in every field, on every crop of corn, canola and sunflowers.

    If you take a trip to France, you will find the farmers fat, happy and drinking their favourite wine. Agriculture in France is booming - no drop in yields or profits.
    I have not traveled all over Europe, but I have been in a good part of it. When you compare USA agriculture with European agriculture, it seems to be like comparing Apples and Oranges. European agriculture struck me as almost "Small Scale" in comparison to the size of the farming that goes on in this country.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    If you take a trip to France, you will find the farmers fat, happy and drinking their favourite wine. Agriculture in France is booming - no drop in yields or profits.
    This is a rather misleading statement. In fact, French agriculture is heavily govt. subsidised because it is so inefficient. French farmers are incredibly militant and periodically drive tractors etc right into the cities where they stage large and angry demonstrations demanding even higher subsidies. There are thousands of them because they only have a few acres each.
    My own country gets most of it's income from agricultural exports, French subsidised agriculture is a bone of contention here because our own agriculture is not subsidised and competing on the world market with heavily subsidised agriculture from the likes of France seems rather unfair.

    I'm sure their farmers do spend a bit of time toasting themselves with wine & getting fat though must be a pretty good lifestyle LOL.

    As an aside, CCD does not exist here, but neonicitiniods are widely used. There is some concern among our commercial beekeepers about neonicitiniods just incase the stuff we hear from overseas turns out to be true, but as yet, there is no problem.

    However it would not be correct to say neonicitiniods are harmless to bees, neonicitiniods are an insecticide, they are designed to kill insects, so of course they will kill bees. But are they more harmful than other insecticides? Well that's the part nobody has shown.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    You have more than just neonicotinoids to worry about in new Zealand. The famous Anchor Brand Butter which we have all known and loved here in the UK for generations, was recently found to be laced with DDT - a pesticide that has been banned in this country since 1982 and in America since about 1978.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...DT-butter.html


    "PESTICIDE residues have been found by UK Government researchers in leading baby food brands, Anchor butter and Birds Eye products aimed at children. A study by the Government's Pesticides Safety Directorate found the banned chemical DDT in a high proportion of samples of Anchor Butter sold in the UK.

    Other chemicals, mainly fungicides, were found in Alphabites and potato waffles sold by Birds Eye. Two Cow & Gate baby foods contained traces of a fungicide legally sprayed on potatoes.

    Apart from DDT all the levels of the other chemicals were within safety levels approved throughout Europe.

    Nine blocks of butter - eight of them Anchor brand - were found to contain DDT, a chemical which has been linked to cancer and effects on the nervous system.

    A spokesman for rural affairs ministry, DEFRA, said the discovery of the DDT in New Zealand is believed to be linked to a pest problem in the country more than a decade ago.

    He said:
    'There was heavy spraying of the landscape at that time and the chemical is believed to have remained in the ground. It appears that it has been absorbed by the grass and then gone into the cows and their milk.'
    The finding is highly embarrassing for the New Zealand Milk company which is responsible for the Anchor brand and is currently running a marketing brand boasting of the health benefits of the butter. "

    DDT almost wiped out the Peregrine falcon in the UK in the 1960s - along with many other birds, and many human cancers are believed to result from this appalling pesticide - which is extremely lipophilic - fat loving - every single man, woman and child in the UK, Europe and America has DDT in their tissues, especially breast tissue, more than 40 years after it was banned.

    It appears that we learn nothing. We are not separate from 'The Environment' - we are part and parcel of it.
    when we spray pesticides onto the landscape, we are spraying them into our children's tissues. it all comes back home, there is no 'out there' to throw things away.

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