Greenpeace comment on EFSA study on effects of pesticides on bees

Press release - January 16, 2013
Brussels – A report released today by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) [1] has linked commonly used pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, to serious effects on bee populations. EFSA indicates “high risks” in the use of neonicotinoids and stresses that there are major gaps in available data. These gaps raise fundamental questions about the ability of current safety testing to assess risks posed by pesticides on the environment and health, said Greenpeace.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said: “The report by the European Food Safety Authority confirms that neonicotinoids are the mustard gas of the insect world and should be banned before it is too late. One third of our food could not be produced if bees and other pollinators were to disappear. The writing is on the wall: the EU can no longer delay action and should follow the examples of France, Germany and Italy, who already have bans on neonicotinoids.”


Greenpeace calls on European policymakers to support policies that promote sustainable pest management and encourage ecological farming practices.

Note to editors:

[1] EFSA study on bee health:


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

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,

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Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.