13 EU countries back ban of bee-killing pesticides

Press release - March 15, 2013
Brussels – Government representatives from 13 EU countries have voted in favour of a temporary ban of three pesticides (neonicotinoids known as imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam) that have been shown to harm bees. The vote follows months of intense lobbying by the pesticides industry.

While a relative majority of countries (including France, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands and Belgium) supported the ban proposed by the European Commission, they fell short of the necessary qualified majority to make the decision binding. Nine countries voted against the ban (including Romania, Hungary and Finland), while five abstained (including the UK, Germany and Bulgaria). The Commission can now table a new proposal or refer the matter to a higher body of national representatives.

Reacting to the news, Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said: “While this vote isn’t binding, it remains true that a majority of countries have backed a ban of these pesticides toxic to bees, despite a fierce propaganda campaign by the pesticides industry. The scientific evidence is clear, but pesticides companies like Syngenta and Bayer will continue to lobby to delay a ban as much as possible. It is important for the European Commission not to drag its feet but to act quickly to pursue a complete ban that is in line with scientific advice.”

For more background on the vote, please see:


Marco Contiero
– Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director: +32 (0)477 777034 (mobile),

EU pressdesk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,


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