Due to the conclusions recently reached by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and in correlation with a report published last week by the European Environment Agency (EEA), EU Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner Tonio Borg has today announced that the Commission will propose a partial ban on neonicotinoid pesticides due to their possible impact on bees.
The European Commission will call for "harmonised and legally binding measures inspired by the 'precautionary principle' but also by the principle of proportionality."
Member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee, Alyn Smith said:
"Last week's report by the EEA was hugely critical of the lack of precautionary action by the Commission and it seems that the strong language has finally hit home. Action at last.
"The importance of bees to our food producers has been overlooked for too long, and the alarming numbers of colony collapses are extremely worrying. What is becoming clear, however, is that the link between pesticides and these collapses is in desperate need of further examination.
"This research is already taking place in Scotland, in centres such as the Bumblebee Conservation Trust at Stirling University, and I hope it will be front and centre of any future studies.
"With the annual value of pollination by bees being put in the region of EUR 15 billion, we simply cannot afford to just wait and see. I am glad that the Commission has finally woken up to the reality of what the decline of bees really means. Better late than never."