Under pressure from European justice, France renounces reautorizing these “bee killers” insecticides

The Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau, announced that he would not extend the derogation granted to betraviers to use these prohibited products.

by Stéphane Foucart and Stéphane Mandard

The suspense was short -lived. The Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, Marc Fesneau, announced on Monday, January 23, that neonicotinoid insecticides “bee killers” would not be reautilized in France, on the beet, for the current year. Four days earlier, on January 19, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) made a judgment judging that “member states cannot derogate from prohibitions” in the case of seeds treated with neonicotinoids – theoretically prohibited substances in the ‘European Union (EU) since 2018, for the damage they lead to bees, pollinators and biodiversity in general.

“Faced with this decision to apply immediate application in Europe, and while France was engaged in a program of three years of research of alternatives to neonicotinoids which was to be completed this year, we must act by confronting the new Give created by this situation, “justified the minister. The government will therefore not propose a “third year of derogation on the coating of beet seeds”.

A 180 degree turn after the announcement in December 2022, at the beet planters’ congress, by the same Marc Fesneau, that neonicotinoids would again be authorized in 2023. A derogation had been introduced for three years in law From December 14, 2020 with the possibility of authorizing, up to 1 er July 2023, a use limited to a maximum duration of 120 days per year.

“backup clause “

The decision of the European High Jurisdiction had taken the stakeholders by surprise. It was made public the day before the day when the joint body was responsible for deciding on derogations in France, and barely a few days before the end of the ministerial decree which was to act the reauthorization, For the third consecutive year, the use of neonicotinoids on the beet.

“A month and a half of beets of beets, it is a huge disappointment for our entire sector, which plunges the beets in a great dismay, reacts Frank Sander, the president of the general confederation of beet planters (CGB ). In the absence of effective solutions, surfaces may drop significantly. “Until the last moment, planters have put pressure on the government. With its 23,700 beets, France is the first European beet sugar producer (34.5 billion tonnes in 2021-2022) and the second world after Russia.

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/Media reports cited above.