48. December 19, 2018: Entre les abeilles et l’agrochimie, l’Europe tarde à choisir

This page is a part of the corpus (Annexe 1) used to write Stéphane Foucart and neonicotinoids.

Here, I relate what the journalist said in his article “

It is “to a technical committee unknown to the public,” SCOPAFF, “that the difficult choice to choose the new authorization rules for pesticides falls.” This choice was made between “bees and pollinating insects on the one hand, and the agrochemical industry on the other “.

Discussions between Member States and the Commission to change the risk assessment of pesticides “are stalling behind the closed doors of the expert committee.” The Pollinis association disputes the refusal of the European Commission to provide it with “a series of documents detailing the debates between Member States around the adoption of these new regulatory tests. “According to the association’s delegate general,” The opacity of such a system is simply undemocratic. It’s a lobbyist’s dream. “

S. Foucart then recalls the shortcomings of the assessment procedures, which had been identified by EFSA in 2013. The NNIs could thus have passed the certification tests and would be the main suspects in the erosion of pollinators. This laxity in regulatory testing can be measured by the annual loss of 30% of bee colonies and the rapid collapse of the entomofauna.

A study published in 2017 by Plos One would indeed show that “the quantity of flying insects fell by more than 75% between 1989 and 2016, in about sixty rural areas of Germany, representative of most of the landscapes of Europe. Western dominated by human activities.” (Hallman et al. 2017) These figures would hardly impress the SCOPAFF.

Indeed (?) Member States’ reactions to the guidelines proposed by EFSA was disparate. France’s position, if it asserts itself as being in favor of the new tests, is ambiguous, the pesticides based on sulfoxaflor having been authorized by ANSES “on the basis of obsolete tests”. An “impact analysis conducted by manufacturers and published in July on a sample of a few dozen molecules,” 79% of uses of all herbicides, 75% of uses of fungicides and all uses of 92% of insecticides “does not do not pass the chronic toxicity tests prescribed by the EFSA guidelines. “