Environment: beekeepers petition EP to ban GMOs, pesticides

EU Greens campaign kicks off as EP says it will decide by March

22 January, 17:03

(ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, JANUARY 22 - European beekeepers' battle to save bees and honey from pesticides and genetically engineered contamination kicked off in the EU parliament, where the petitions commission on Tuesday said it will study the issue and make a decision by March.

The French Union of French Beekeepers (UNAF) and two Italian beekeepers' groups, UNAAPI and CONAAPI, submitted a petition with 300,000 signatures, asking the EP to ban use of MON 810 genetically engineered corn, block authorizations of other genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that impact on nectar and pollen, and undertake a rigorous study on the impact of genetically modified plants on beehives.

UNAF also supports another petition submitted by Spanish consumers and environmentalists, calling on the EP to ban the pesticides trade, especially those containing neonicotinoids, a class of powerful neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine, which are causing mass deaths of bees in the EU.

''After the EU Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) report on the effects of neonicotinoids, a decision needs to be made urgently,'' explained UNAF President Olivier Belval.

Also on Tuesday, the European Greens launched a campaign to support both petitions called ''Give Bees A Chance: No to GMOs, No To Pesticides''. Among their demands are a transition to bee-friendly sustainable agriculture, and the obligation of labeling GMO-derivated honey as such. (ANSAmed).

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