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French ban on neonicotinoid pesticides that can add to bees enters into force

A bee sits on a sunflower in Oberursel near Frankfurt
Photo: Boris Roessler (AP)

A French ban on five neonicotinoid pesticides to protect bees from colony collapse took effect on Saturday, Agence France-Press reported

By AFP, the French regulations ban all five neonicotinoid pesticides that were once released for the entire continent. Earlier this year, the European Union maintained a moratorium on three of five types of neonicotinoid pesticides for use in: clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. These chemicals can now only be used in greenhouses throughout the EU. The French ban is much more extensive and limits the use of all five even in greenhouse cultivation.

Neonicotinoid chemicals are structurally similar to nicotine and have been used in bulk over the past two decades, making them a particular target for investigating those who have wanted to explain mass extinctions of bee colonies in the US and Europe in recent years. Scientists suggest that colony-collapse disorder is caused by several factors. However, recent research has shown that pesticides, like nicotine in mammals, can affect insect brains, actually binding bees to venom. Other research indicates that neonicotinoid pesticides may increase the susceptibility of some bees to Varroa mite infestation or interfere with their navigation. Therefore, these pesticides probably play a big role.

AFP wrote:

Introduced in the mid-1

990s, the synthetically produced neonicotinoids are based on the chemical structure of nicotine and attack the insect's central nervous system.

They should be a less harmful substitute for older pesticides and are now the most commonly used for the treatment of flowering plants, including fruit trees, turnips, wheat, oilseed rape and vineyards.

… The United Nations warned that nearly half of insect pollinators, especially bees and butterflies, are threatened with worldwide extinction.

This is particularly worrisome in the context of a 2016 study in which 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops are dependent on pollinators, mainly bees. the free plant fertilization worth billions of dollars.

French farmers' organizations are obviously not happy about losing access to the pesticides because they believe that they are crucial in agriculture. Environmental Group Generations Futures & # 39; Francois Villerette responded and told AFP that "We should not confine ourselves to this family" of pesticides and "many others must also ban." The report found that the pesticides are used for other pest control strategies outside agriculture, the ban will probably not eliminate the neonicotinoids completely from the environment.


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