Bee activist: EU ban on neonicotinoids undermined by national derogations

The European Commission's 2013 decision to ban some neonicotinoid insecticides is not working, as some member states have provided derogation for their farmers, says Martin Dermine.

Martin Dermine is honeybee project coordinator at PAN Europe, an NGO which is working to replace harmful pesticides with ecological alternatives. Dermine answered questions by EurActiv's Henriette Jacobsen. 

In 2013, the Commission banned some neonicotinoids because of their suspected harmful effect on bees. One year on, how is this ban working?

The partial ban on neonicotinoids and fipronil was a fantastic victory for the environment, even though we would have liked to see a full ban on these bee-harmful chemicals. From the information we have, the ban is properly applied by member states. Unfortunately, several member states, such as Finland, Romania, Germany, Latvia and Estonia have provided derogations to their farmers to keep using neonicotinoids on certain major crops. This annihilates the benefit of the ban for bees.

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