Europe poised for total ban on bee-harming pesticides

23 Mar 2017
Friends of the Earth react to draft European regulations which suggest a ban on some insecticides

Responding to a report in the Guardian  that draft regulations show the European Commission wants to prohibit the insecticides that cause ‘acute risks to bees’, Friends of the Earth senior nature campaigner Paul de Zylva said:

“Evidence of the harm neonicotinoids cause to our bees is strong enough to justify a complete ban on these pesticides.
“Studies show these chemicals affect other wildlife, and the quality of our soils and water, too. They are so pervasive that neonicotinoids are turning up in wildflowers next to arable fields.
“Going neonic-free puts farmers more in control of their land instead of having to defer to advice from pesticide companies.

“Science is catching up with the pesticide industry – the EU and UK government must call time on neonics.

“Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, the UK government must ensure that European measures aimed at safeguarding our precious bees are maintained.”
Friends of the Earth is working with oil-seed rape producers who have pledged not to use these neonicotinoids on their crops – even if the current EU restrictions are ended. The organisation also knows of many wheat farmers who have no problem growing their crop without them.


For more information contact Neil Verlander on 0207 566 1674 or contact the Friends of the Earth press office on 020 7566 1649 or 07718 394786 (out of hours – please do not text), [email protected]

Notes to editors:

  1. A number of pioneering farmers, who are some of the UK’s leading cold-pressed rapeseed oil producers and who have pledged not to use three neonicotinoid chemicals on their oil seed rape crops – even if the current EU restrictions end.   The farmers – who are all conventional, non-organic farmers - all grow, press and bottle their own crops to make high quality cold-pressed rapeseed oil. The farmers are featured in Friends of the Earth’s Bee-friendly Shopper’s Guide to Rapeseed Oil.
  2. Pesticide restrictions must be extended to wheat - Friends of the Earth report.
  3. An EU-wide moratorium, which came into force in December 2013, restricts the use of three neonicotinoids: imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, on flowering crops. It was introduced after a report by scientists at the European Food Safety Authority concluded that they posed a "high acute risk" to honey bees. The ban does not cover all neonicotinoid pesticides or all crops, such as wheat.

If you're a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.