- Britain’s Labour Party hires David Axelrod — but can’t spell his name
- Washington and Lee law students demand ban on Confederate flag, say Gen. Lee was racist
- Prosecutors seek arrest warrant for ferry captain in South Korea
- Ann Coulter takes up ‘Mitt Romney for President’ chant again
- Mount Everest avalanche kills a dozen Sherpa guides
- Vice principal saved from South Korean sinking ferry found hanged
- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
European Union plan to protect bees stirs hornets’ nest
BRUSSELS (AP) — An attempt to protect Europe’s bee population has kicked up a hornets’ nest.
On Thursday, the EU’s commissioner for health and consumer policy, Tonio Borg, proposed to restrict the use of three pesticides — called nenicotinoids — to crops to which bees are not attracted.
The three pesticides were clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam; the crops from which they would be banned include sunflowers, rapeseed, cotton and maize. The policy would take effect July 1 for the EU’s 27 nations and be reviewed after two years.
But while environmentalists welcomed Borg’s proposal as an important first step, Borg’s spokesman, Frederic Vincent, confirmed that some countries reacted unenthusiastically, preferring further study to immediate action. He declined to identify them.
Marco Contiero of the environmental group Greenpeace said Britain was firmly opposed, and Germany and Spain were either opposed or wanted more time to consider.
Luis Morago of the advocacy group Avaaz, meanwhile, condemned what he called “spurious” British and German opposition and said 2.2 million people had signed an Internet petition calling for a comprehensive ban on the pesticides.
Beekeepers have reported an unusual decline in bees over the past decade, particularly in Western Europe, the European Food Safety Authority says. Bees are critically important to the environment, sustaining biodiversity by providing pollination for a wide range of crops and wild plants — including most of the food crops in Europe, it says.
“This is the first time that the EU has recognized that the demise of bees has a perpetrator: pesticides,” Morago said. “The two-year suspension on pesticides could mark a tipping point in the battle to stop the chemical Armageddon for bees, but it does not go far enough.”
Matthias Wuethrich of Greenpeace agreed that more needed to be done to save the bees.
“A ban on a few hazardous pesticides is only a very limited safeguard,” Wuethrich said. “The disappearance of bees is just a symptom of a failed agricultural system based on the intensive use of chemicals, serving the interest of powerful corporations like Bayer and Syngenta.”
He said the solution was a “paradigm shift to sustainable agriculture and modern eco-farming practices.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Team Obama's bizarre behavior helps Gitmo terrorists foil justice
- Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as 'domestic terrorists'
- CBO shows it's Paul Ryan 4, Obama 0 on budget targeting
- PRUDEN: When a bored president just 'mails it in'
- Joe Biden's biggest gaffe: VP blowing his 2016 head start
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- With pot and e-cigarettes, Big Tobacco is just waiting to inhale emerging markets
- Golden Hammer: Easter candy bitter taste for taxpayers?
- Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.