A majority of EU governments have voted against renewing the license for the harmful pesticide Thiacloprid.
Thiacloprid is an active substance that is used in plant protection to control harmful insects.
The pesticide is produced by one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Bayer AG, a German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company.
383,000 people signed a petition by the international consumer group SumOfUs, demanding that the EU ban the pesticide.
It has been linked to cancer and reproductive issues in farm workers and has also shown to harm bees and other pollinators, it has already been banned in France in 2018 because of these reasons.
British Ecology Society has said: ‘Many alarming reports are currently published on the decline of insects, with agricultural pollution often being recognized as one of the predominant drivers.’
‘This also holds true for thiacloprid as it has been acknowledged that it is causing environmental risks higher than lab‐based studies previously indicated.’
In response to the SumOfUs petition, on October 22, the European Commission decided to indeed ban the pesticide.
It is expected that the commission will adopt the regulation and publish it in the Offical Journal by the end of November 2019.
The vote, which took place at the European Commission’s standing committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed will be formally adopted and then the ban will come into effect at the end of 2020 when thiacloprid’s current license expires.
Rebecca Falcon, campaign manager at SumOfUs said: ‘Europeans persuaded our decision-makers to unite behind the science and ban toxic Thiacloprid, despite every attempt by its producer Bayer and the agroindustry.’
‘383,000 people piled onto the petition to demand this ban, and addressed our ministers directly on social media and through crowdfunded newspaper adverts.’
‘As a result of this ban, farmworkers won’t be exposed to the cancer-linked chemical and bees and other pollinators won’t suffer its harmful effects.’
‘There’s no conceivable reason why this toxic pesticide should be legal in the EU, but Bayer with its billion-euro lobbying machine has managed to convince the European commission so far.’
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