Over the last few months, the bee industry has been significantly shaken both here and abroad with what seemed to be a reversal in restrictions against the pesticide industry. Thankfully, at least in the UK, that trend is starting to be reversed. The European Parliament has now decided to block recent legislation that would have left the door open for honey bees to be threatened by even more pesticides than they already are.
The new resolution is urging the European Commission to “table new legislation based on the latest scientific and technical knowledge.” The original legislation was put in jeopardy after more than a dozen states fought to have certain testing measures on pesticides changed. When the legislation went through the final wash, only provisions protecting bees from “acute exposure” remained in place.
The resolution passed with an overwhelming vote of 533 to 67, with 100 abstaining from the vote. The resolution stressed the fact that the “new” legislation was not changing existing “levels of protection” for the honey bees and other pollinators, so it is now asking the Commission to generate new proposals that will further protect pollinators.
The European Parliament recently released new figures stating that 78 percent of wildflowers and 84 percent of its crops rely on pollinators to some extent. Considering agriculture output in the country is estimated to generate more than $16 billion, the fate of pollinators should be of significant concern for legislators.
Greenpeace was thrilled with the new resolution, stating, “The new Parliament has shown that it’s serious about protecting Europe’s threatened pollinators.”
The fact we are even having these conversations is rather amazing. How can governments around the globe not realize how important honey bees and other pollinators are to our agricultural industries? The fact dangerous pesticides, especially in this “green-oriented” political environment, are still being approved and used is astonishing. We have far too many tools at our disposal where these pesticides can be fully researched to prove just dangerous they are to both the environment and our pollinators.
Hopefully, politicians here in the states are taking notice of what is happening across the pond. It is sad, though, that a country that is supposed to be at the forefront of the pack on these issues is seemingly going backward on this front. The honey bee may be a nuisance to some and considered “just” an insect to others but clearly, this pollinator is far more important to our agriculture and our existence, for that matter, to be ignored and continued to be put at risk.
Source: ABC News