Neonic ban starts today

Today a two-year ban on three insecticides called neonics (neonicotinoids) came into force across the European Union (EU). The neonics are used as seed dressings to reduce pest attacks. Their names are clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.

The neonics have been temporarily banned because they kill bees and other insects that we want to avoid killing. Insects which pollinate crops and which are essential in many other ways, providing ‘ecosystem services’. You could follow my tag ‘neonicotinoid’.

Yesterday Dave Goulson in the Ecologist wrote that this temporary fix isn’t good enough because it doesn’t tackle other problems that good insects face.

Also yesterday, Philip Case in Farmers Weekly wrote that the ban might make things worse because it provides farmers with an incentive to use even ‘dirtier’ pesticides.

Both quite negative, eh? I haven’t yet seen happy buzzing about today’s change in the law as a sweet honeypot. But for bees and other good insects, maybe that’s what it is.

[Edit] Not everybody thinks it’s a sweet honeypot. Many farmers aren’t impressed. Syngenta and Bayer are huge companies who make neonics. They’re taking the European Commission to court about the ban.


About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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18 Responses to Neonic ban starts today

  1. I hope it is only a start……

  2. Littlesundog says:

    It’s so overwhelming… but I am happy to see something is being initiated. Thanks for your always informative posts!

  3. sharonstjoan says:

    Reblogged this on Voices and Visions and commented:
    The EU bans neonics –pesticides that kill bees…

  4. Rachel says:

    It is a start though – it seems to me that people love to dwell on negative sides of stories. It’s a step in the right direction.

    • argylesock says:

      Yes that’s how journalists make money, isn’t it? Whenever there’s an accident, a crime or a demonstration, the story’s about how many people were killed or arrested.

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