France Moves To Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides

Following the publication of several studies that show neonicotinoid pesticides have a negative impact on dwindling honey bee populations, France has announced it plans to ban Cruiser OSR, an insecticide produced by Sygenta. French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll has also officially asked the EU Commission to re-evaluate its regulation of neonicotinoid pesticides to increase protection for bees.

Neonicotinoids are systemic chemicals often applied to seeds. After application they spread through the plant and are found in the plant’s pollen and nectar where bees and other pollinating species are exposed. Research has shown that the active ingredient in Cruiser OSR  attacks bees’ central nervous systems, causing them to lose their normally excellent sense of direction. In one study, bees exposed to the pesticide were two to three times more likely not to return from foraging trips, allowing researchers to hypothesize that the pesticide impairs the bee’s ability to navigate its surroundings successfully.

It’s thought that given the impact of this chemical on the bee’s ability to make it home, it might be an explanation for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a phenomenon that has been devastating bee populations all over the world.

In a US study, bees from 16 outdoor hives were fed tiny doses of neonicotinoid pesticide-laced high-fructose corn syrup, while four hives in the same field were left untreated. After around six months over 90 percent (15 out of 16) of the hives fed with the pesticidal corn syrup had collapsed, while the four control hives not exposed to pesticides remained healthy.

France has said it will give Sygenta two weeks to prove the pesticide is not linked CCD.

Of course, Sygenta denies that their pesticides have anything to do with widespread CCD. ”All Syngenta’s crop protection products are thoroughly tested to ensure that there are no unwanted effects on beneficial insects such as bees or excessive residues in food or risks to human health,” states the company’s website.

Related Reading:

Study Links Honey Bee Deaths To Corn Incecticide

Research Firm Blames Monsanto For Bee Deaths…So Monsanto Buys It

Common Pesticide Makes Honey Bees Picky Eaters

Image via Thinkstock

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71 comments

Xil L.
Xil L.3 years ago

hollande, big up

Angel Campbell
Angel Campbell3 years ago

Thank you France

Sarah M.
Sarah M.3 years ago

love bees! we need them in order to survive.

Doug Gledhill
Doug G.3 years ago

Wouldn't it be nice if the scientific community would be professional enough and responsible enough to ensure that the chemcials and other "inventions" were environmentally benign PRIOR to release in the general environment by using independent studies and forgoing cashing in until such time they are proven safe, beyond doubt?
Chemists and others devise all sorts of new chemicals/products that create problems for the environment years down the road and calls into question this whole practice that seems to be born of personal reward to the detriment of all else. Pesticides,plastics, GMO and drugs are but a few that pose serious concerns for the planets future which transends the need for immediate personal gratification in my book.
France did right to ban this stuff but only after the damage was realized. Imagine how much further ahead they would have been had they had the insight not to allow it at all until throughly proven?
Of course, the US will never consider anything until after the damage is done and the income assured.

Lucie G.
Lucie G.3 years ago

this is fantastic news. Bees are so improtant . Why arn't every one else following suit

Wende Anne Maunder
Wendé Maunder3 years ago

Well done to France. Let's hope that the UK follows this lead.

Fadi M.
Fadi M.3 years ago

Please do France! I hope the rest of Europe follows soon.

Lucy Bell
Lucy Bell3 years ago

Hurray to France!

Pogle S.
Pogle S.3 years ago

Go on France. I won't even mind if you win the European Football [Soccer] Championship! :-)>

Marie W.
Marie W.3 years ago

Yea France.