France votes in ban on neonicotinoids

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The ban in France on neonicotinoids takes effect on 1st September 2018.  Dispensations for farmers will be possible up to July 2020.  Industrial giants Bayer and Syngenta warn of economic and agricultural deadlock while there are no plausible alternatives to the pesticide. The French Biodiversity Bill was voted in by parliament/the Assemblée Nationale on 20 July after two years of dithering between senators and deputies. Neonicotinoids are judged toxic for bees and hence our food security.  Calls have been made by the Chambers of Agriculture for more research on efficient alternatives.  The Farmers’ Union Confederation paysanne hails the decision yet deplores the idea of dispensations and says enough is still not being done to help farmers with alternatives.  Welcoming the new law also are the Association France Nature Environnement, the Fondation Nicolas Hulot, Unaf (the French national union of bee-keepers), and the Association Agir pour l’environnement.  See more on neonicotinoids here: To Bee or not to Bee.


The decision comes within the framework of a new Biodiversity Agency to be set up in France to protect French Flora and Fauna. The Agency will officially be opened in January 2017, and will apply the Polluter Pays Principle.



Comments: 5 replies added

  1. Marie-Jo July 26, 2016

    Yes, we can find efficient alternatives to pesticides. Man is capable of the best as well as the worst. With the "Conf" and other Associations we should get there. Let's be optimistic ! M.Jo

  2. ajh July 27, 2016

    Thanks M.Jo, we mustn't forget this, you are right. (By the "Conf" you mean the Confédération paysanne, the French farmer's Union - correct me if I'm wrong.)

  3. Marie-Jo August 5, 2016

    Yes the Conf' is the Confédération paysanne see : Action Conf' du 12 7 2016, mettre fin à cette PAC excluante Mjo

  4. Darron Crowford August 17, 2016

    France s National Assembly  passed the ban by a narrow majority late Thursday as part of a draft bill on biodiversity that also places an additional tax on palm oil. The bill would not go into effect until September 1, 2018, later than the January 2017 deadline that some lawmakers had proposed.

  5. ajh August 17, 2016

    Thanks for your comments, Darron. It seems slightly deceptive that the French government brings in this ban with the 2018 deadline, but still allows farmers - the main users - dispensations until 2020...

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