In line with the war against chemicals harmful to populations of crop-pollinating bees, the French government has implemented the ban on five Neonicotinoid pesticides.
The banned neonicotinoids include clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid – thiacloprid and acetamiprid, not only in outdoor farms but also in greenhouses.
However, while Environmental activists, beekeepers and some farmers have hailed this action by the French government, cereal and sugar farmers have to say that there are no effective alternatives for protecting their crops and farm produce against insects and pests.
In a joint statement issued by a collection of farmers’ bodies calling for exemptions in some sectors, they said “A large number (of agricultural producers) find themselves at a dramatic technical dead-end, where there are no alternatives or insufficient ones to neonicotinoids. ”
According to the groups, the ban “will exacerbate unfair competition with European and non-European producers still allowed to use the pesticides”.
Over the years, the use of pesticides along with mites, viruses and fungi or in some cases a combination of these has been attributed to the death of bees in a mysterious plague called “colony collapse disorder”.
Neonicotinoids have been discovered by scientists, to be harmful to bees in reproduction and foraging by diminishing of sperm cells quality and distorting the insects’ memory and navigation functions.
The UN had warned that certain insect pollinators, bees and butterflies, were at risk of global extinction. The agency noted that this would be catastrophic for the earth as about 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops depend on pollinators, mainly bees, which provide plant fertilization services worth billions of dollars.