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Science and Sense Wrecks Pesticide Industry’s Buzz – Boylan

22 June, 2017 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan, a member of the Environment, Public Health & Food Safety Committee, has welcomed this morning’s overwhelming rejection of an attempt to lift a ban on the use of damaging insecticides.

Ms Boylan said

“In 2013, the European Commission and Member states opted to restrict the use of neo-nicotinoids due to fears that they may pose a risk to pollinators, in particular bees.  The evidence was not definitive but the EU opted to err on the side of caution and invoked the precautionary principle, a cornerstone of EU decision making.

“Now four years on, the use of the precautionary principle has been vindicated as scientific evidence against these insecticides mounts.  They have been shown to remain in the soil over long periods making seasonal restrictions ineffective and further evidence indicates that they may also pose risks to bird species.

“It is only right that the EU Commission has proposed to ban the use of imidaloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam.  They have stated that they pose a ‘high risk’ to bees, therefore to not ban them would defy logic.

“This morning’s attempt by the Tory MEP Julie Girling to object to this ban was irresponsible; without pollinators, we cannot survive.  The only benefactors of Ms Girling’s objection would be industry, who interestingly were present in large numbers during the debate on the matter.

“I am happy to see that MEPs across the political spectrum voted to put nature and scientific evidence ahead of the interests of industry.  The ban on these harmful insecticides has also been a powerful reminder of how important the precautionary principle is and why we must protect it from attempts to destroy it in recent trade negotiations.” 

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