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Ban on bee-killing chemicals starts Saturday

The move on five neonicotinoid pestides has been hailed by beekeepers and
environmental activists.

But cereal and sugar beet farmers who claim there are no effective alternatives for protecting their valuable crops against insects, have lament the ban.

The five neonicotinoid pesticides hitherto were authorized for use in Europe. Introduced in the mid-1990s, lab-synthesized neonicotinoids are based on the chemical structure of nicotine, and the central nervous system of insects.

They were meant to be a less harmful substitute to older pesticides, and are now the most widely-used to treat flowering crops, including fruit trees, beets, wheat, canola, and vineyards.

Scientific studies have since shown that neonicotinoids harm bee reproduction and foraging by diminishing sperm quality and scrambling the insects’ memory and navigation functions.

The ban, the groups claimed, “will exacerbate unfair competition with European and non-European producers” still allowed to use the pesticides.

Earlier this month, Canada announced plans to phase out clothianidin and thiamethoxam.

The French ban allows for case-by-case exemptions on the use of acetamiprid until July 1, 2020.

 

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