France bans five neonic pesticides

September 03 , 2018

France has placed itself at the forefront of a campaign against chemical blamed for declines in bee populations, over the weekend banning five neonicotinoid pesticides.

As from on Saturday 1 September 2018 the use of five neocotinoids – clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, thiacloprid and acetamiprid – is illegal in France.

The French ban goes further than a European one – announced in April that comes into effect on Dec. 19 at the latest – which only bans the use of clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam in open fields.

Heavily agriculture-reliant France banned these three plus thiacloprid and acetamiprid, not only outdoors but in greenhouses too.

The move was praised by beekeepers and environmentalists but criticized by farming groups who say there is a lack of sufficient alternatives and believe the ban will cause economic damage.

Some French farmers’ groups object to the ban, arguing that it is based on insufficient evidence and will make their crops less competitive with imported produce.

The Anses public health agency said in May there were “sufficiently effective, and operational” alternatives to the majority of neonicotinoids, Radio France reported.

But farmers’ union FNSEA wants exemptions for maize and beets, saying that there are no sufficiently effective alternative ways to tackle insects that seriously damage the crops.

The use of neonicotinoids will continue to be authorized for use in non-agricultural pest control, such as in flea collars for pets or in household fly traps.

The ban pitted French Agriculture Minister Stéphane Travert, who lobbied for easing it, against environment minister Nicolas Hulot, who refused to back down but resigned from the government last week, saying he felt isolated.

The Canadian Government recently announced plans to phase out thiamethoxam and clothianidin.

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  1. Dr William Bean says:

    No bees = no honey and no pollination.
    You are very wise France, there’s a lot more alternative pesticide control.