sugar beet

EU court forces France to end use of ‘bee killer’ insecticide


French agriculture minister Marc Fesneau has announced the end of a controversial exemption granted to sugar beet producers to use a family of insecticides dubbed “bee killers” and which were banned by the European Union in 2018. The move follows a ruling last week by the European Court of Justice, the EU’s supreme court, which outlaws member states from any further use of a legal loophole which allowed for "emergency" dispensation from the ban on neonicotinoids, which scientific studies have linked to a collapse of colonies of honey bees and other pollinators, and also bird populations. Amélie Poinssot reports.

The ill-informed debate behind France’s lifting of neonicotinoids ban

France — Analysis

The French parliament earlier this week approved a three-year exemption for sugar beet growers from a ban on the use of a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids. The sugar beet sector has argued that its future was at stake because it was otherwise unarmed to counter the loss of crops caused by an aphid-borne virus disease. But the move outraged environmentalists who point to the inevitable effects of soil and water contamination by neonicotinoids, which are notably harmful for bees, and the dangers for human health. Amélie Poinssot highlights the ill-informed arguments presented in parliament in favour of a return of the controversial pesticides.

French MPs approve 'bee-killer' pesticides for sugar beet farmers

France — Link

French parliamentarians on Tuesday voted in favour of giving sugar beet farmers, whose crops were diminished this year, a special derogation to use neonicotinoids, a form of pesticide, against rampant aphids and which environmentalists say disrupts bees' reproduction modes and sense of orientation.