European Parliament wants less poison in pollinators; farmers fear harvesting

Photo by Joao Marcelo Marques on Unsplash

The European Parliament wants new, more far-reaching measures to better protect bees and other pollinators. MEPs call on the European Commission to strengthen the "EU pollinators initiative" established in 2018.

In a resolution adopted in the Strasbourg plenary, Parliament welcomed the lack of attention given to the causes of the disappearance of pollinators such as land use changes, habitat loss, intensive agriculture, pesticide use, and environmental pollution .

A majority of the European Parliament also wants the agricultural poison Mancozeb to be banned from EU on 31 January. The European Commission wants to extend the admission of the fungal fighter by one year, but a majority of 443 members voted on Wednesday for an objection motion by the Dutch MEP Anja Hazekamp (Party for the Animals). The European Commission must now reconsider its earlier decision.

Mancozeb is associated with an increased risk of Parkinson's by toxicologists. A Dutch television program reported in September about a sharply increased number of people with Parkinson's in the countryside, where Mancozeb or similar pesticides are used. Mancozeb is the most sold fungicide in the Netherlands.

MEPs want the European Commission to develop a full action program and make sufficient resources available. As is currently the case, a large number of active crop protection substances will lose their approval due to the current criteria.

The European umbrella organization of crop protectors says that as a result, food crops in Europe will shrink, to as much as 30% in potatoes, sugar beets, grapes and rapeseed and 7% in wheat, barley and maize. The EU could become a net importer of, for example, potatoes and barley.