Socialist EU Parliament member urges regulators to block neonicotinoid pesticide use in France

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French Socialist MEP Eric Andrieu says he has written to the European Commission to ask for the suspension of a recent French government authorization of banned neonicotinoid pesticides. The French government made the controversial decision to allow sugar beet farmers — facing potentially major yield losses due to virus yellows — to coat seeds in the pesticides, which have been linked to pollinator decline.

Under the EU’s main pesticide law, the Commission has the power to suspend or annul derogations that abuse the law, and this is what Andrieu envisages as a way to stop the proposal, he wrote. “The annulment of this derogation which permits the use of bee-killing pesticides is a question in the public interest!” he wrote on his website.

Related article:  EU neonicotinoid insecticide ban, Brexit prompt some UK farmers to grow less risky crops to protect yields

Precedent: “What’s more, the Commission has itself communicated its sense of fatigue regarding the excess of derogations,” an assistant to Andrieu told Morning Agri. Last year the Commission moved to block Romania and Lithuania from repeatedly using emergency authorizations for neonics. Will France face the same stern rebuke from Brussels?

Meanwhile in France …. the country’s recently appointed Ecology Minister Barbara Pompili said the neonic derogation decision — which she was partly responsible for — made her angry. “I am not very happy about the idea of reopening a few exceptions and this choice that I had to make with Julien Denormandie, the agriculture minister, makes me very angry,” she said on [August 26].

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