Farmers Weekly has a report on a French ban on pesticides linked to declining bee populations - France bans Syngenta pesticide linked to bee decline.
The French government has banned a pesticide linked to the decline of bees that is widely used to treat oilseed rape. Cruiser OSR, which contains the neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam, was banned for use on oilseed rape by the French Ministry of Agriculture. Made by the Swiss agrichemical company Syngenta, Cruiser OSR is a seed treatment, which is coated onto the rape seeds.
The decision to ban Cruiser follows two studies earlier this year, in the UK and France, which found evidence that neonicotinoids contain chemicals that disorientate bees and prevent them from finding their way back to hives, causing colony collapse disorder. Announcing the ban, France's Ministry of Agriculture said it would be pushing for a European-wide ban with the European Commission and the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA).
Bees are vitally important to agriculture for pollinating our food crops and maintaining biodiversity in the rural environment. A recent Friends of the Earth report estimated bees are worth £510m a year to the UK economy. However, bee numbers have been declining worldwide in recent years and conservationists claim that pesticides are a contributing factor, in particular neonicotinoids.