EU environmental groups say proposed pesticide rules would ‘water down’ protection for pollinators

Field of oilseed rape with bees e

EU countries …. expressed their preference for a way of regulating potentially bee-harming pesticides that has been contested by environmental NGOs.

EU countries’ representatives held an informal vote in a Commission-chaired standing committee, [July 16 and 17], and — according to a person familiar with the proceedings — overall indicated that the impact pesticides have on bees should be assessed based on the “natural variability” of a colony’s mortality. Fifteen countries backed that approach at a meeting on June 30, and last week’s roundtable yielded a similar result, the person said.

[Editor’s note: To learn more about bees and pesticides, read The world faces ‘pollinator collapse’? How and why the media get the science wrong time and again.]

Related article:  Canada will phase out two kinds of neonicotinoids in 2021, citing harm to bee populations

The NGOs Pesticide Action Network and BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination have argued this approach will water down EU protections for pollinators. “In a dossier based in such large uncertainties, the precautionary principle would imply the adoption of the most protective approach,” BeeLife’s Noa Simon wrote in a statement.

The Commission is currently revising its bee guidance document — a set of strict guidelines for screening pesticides’ impact on bees that was initially written in 2013, but which a majority of EU countries have blocked. Now the Commission is seeking the green light for a new approach to bee protection to break the impasse.

Read the original post (Behind paywall)

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