Ban of three bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides holds up in EU court

“The Court of Justice has reaffirmed that protecting nature and people’s health takes precedence over the narrow economic interests of powerful multinationals..."

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Bayer’s final attempt to overturn the European Commission’s decision to ban neonicotinoid pesticides was rejected by the Court of Justice of the European Union. The court ruled that the EU was right to ban the pesticides in 2013 in order to protect the environment and human health.

The EU Commission banned three active substances, imidacloprid developed by Bayer CropScience, clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer CropScience, as well as Syngenta’s thiamethoxam from being used on maize, rapeseed and some spring cereals as a “precautionary principle” to save bees.

“The Court of Justice has reaffirmed that protecting nature and people’s health takes precedence over the narrow economic interests of powerful multinationals and that the precautionary principle is a cornerstone of EU law,” Andrea Carta, EU legal strategist at Greenpeace, said. “This means the EU has a responsibility and the power to ensure the safety of all pesticides, chemicals, GM crops and other dangerous products and substances.”

Greenpeace along with Pesticides Action Network Europe, Beelife and Buglife argued the importance of banning these three bee-killing pesticides in court.

“EU courts have again ruled that bees and other essential insects should be protected from dangerous pesticides, but governments continue to dish out exemptions and hold up attempts to put in place effective safety testing,” Carta said. “This ruling shows they must adopt rigorous testing rules without further delay.”

While Greenpeace welcomed the court’s decision, the pesticide manufacturers called the ruling “disappointing and unfortunate,”

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