In a statement on Wednesday, European experts warned the European Commission of the dangers neonicotinoids represent for not only bees but also the entire ecosystem. The temporary two-year ban on these pesticides is to be re-evaluated by the European Commission later this year. Neonicotinoids are neurotoxins, substances which act on the nervous system, and the agricultural sector uses them as pesticides.
Exposure to these products can result in chronic, sometimes even immediate, symptoms, including death.
Thirteen researchers from various national science academies, grouped together under the European association EASAC, analysed over a hundred studies on the impact of neonicotinoids on the ecosystem. They focused on the effects of neonicotinoids on other parts of the ecosystem and not only on honeybees, which often fuel the controversy.
The experts concluded that there is mounting evidence that the use of neonicotinoids has serious consequences for organisms which play a crucial role in the ecosystem, for example, pollinators or insects which fight disease.
It has also been scientifically proven that even small doses of neonicotinoids can be harmful. Scientists warn that not only does the the current use of neonicotinoids not meet the required integrated pest management norms set at European level, but also hampers the restoration of biodiversity in agricultural areas.
In 2013, the EU set a two-year ban on the use of four of the nine different neonicotinoids. The product is banned on crops that attract pollinating insects, such as bees.
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)