Majority of Europe votes to ban Bee-harming pesticide

Giant Bee display at Eden Project .  Photo (c) Vathani  Navasothy. 2013
Giant Bee display at Eden Project . Photo (c) Vathani Navasothy. 2013

Got this update from Greenpeace.. Very good news for the Bees.. and glad to see most of Europe being sensible. But shame our own UK rep didn’t shift.  Here’s the good news from James Sadri at Greenpeace that came in an e-mail to me..  (am a supporter!)

-Mani Navasothy

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“….the majority of Europe voted to ban bee pesticides!

It’s the world’s first continent-wide ban on these chemicals and it’s a moment our movement can be proud of.

Someone who has nothing to be proud of is the UK environment minister Owen Paterson, who not only voted against the ban, but lobbied on behalf of chemical giants Syngenta and Bayer to try and stop it going through. Paterson in a private letter even promised Syngenta that his “efforts would intensify” in the run-up to the vote [1].

Well, Mr Paterson, you lost. The bees won.

We know the current UK government has a disastrous track record on protecting our world – from climate change to bees. That’s why so much of our work on this campaign has focused on mainland Europe, where we managed to shift big countries like Germany who yesterday gave the ban their critical backing. That’s what a global network allows us to do.

Although we’ve been working in Europe against these bee-killing chemicals for years, here are a few of the things we’ve done in the past two weeks:

  • Campaigning on the ground in 12 key countries
  • Massive banner dropped on Syngenta’s HQ in Basel, Switzerland on 17th April
  • Turning the Austrian ministry of agriculture into a giant honeycomb on 18th April
  • Protest with hives outside Syngenta’s annual general meeting in Switzerland on 23rd April
  • Giant banner on roof of Bayer’s annual general meeting in Cologne, Germany on 26th April
  • ‘Funeral for the queen bee’ at a Bayer factory in the Netherlands on 26th April
  • Joint ‘March of the Beekeepers’ with other campaigning organisations in Parliament square in the UK on 26th April

Although we failed to shift our UK representative Owen Paterson to support the ban, our movement still managed to shift the critical players across Europe and get the ban we all want.

And therein lies our strength. Like the bees who roam from field to field oblivious of the fences that divide their flowers, we’ll go wherever we need to in order to protect our environment and the world we live in.

Yesterday we showed the real strength of our global movement and achieved a remarkable success. We need more of these. ..”

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