Here, I relate what the journalist said in his article “Néonicotinoïdes : la réautorisation annoncée de ces insecticides neurotoxiques sur la betterave ravive la polémique”. All quotes, originally in French, were translated by me.
[This article is quite difficult to synthesize, the author making extensive use of his juxtaposition technique]
The bill allowing exemptions from the NNI ban is expected to be introduced the day after the article, on September 3. Released on September 1, the text would arouse “strong opposition from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and environmental circles.” There were doubt that the text, not referring to beet, could benefit other crops, such as corn. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, this was not be justified on legal grounds. He also stressed that the ban endangers not only beet growers, but also downstream sectors, which represents a total of 40,000 jobs. He also pledged to allocate 5 million euros to the search for alternatives.
Opposite, Sandrine Bélier, director of the NGO Humanity and Biodiversity, questions why these sums had not been allocated before and asks that there be an obligation of result. According to Delphine Batho:
“The sugar beet sector has had several years to adapt and find alternatives, but it has done nothing, because it has always lived with the prospect of succeeding in getting around the ban on neonics: since 2016, it has systematically been the same arguments that are put forward to reintroduce these substances”.
According to EFSA (according to S. Foucart), all uses of NNI pose a risk to pollinators. In the case of beet, it is soil contamination, which would affect subsequent crops, potentially honey-bearing. Beyond the effect on bees, hundreds of studies published in recent years have shown, beyond reasonable doubt, that NNIs have negative effects on many types of organisms: arthropods, birds, aquatic organisms. , etc. D.Batho concludes:
“This bill is based on a form of obscurantism,” judges Batho. It ignores the scientific data available and in particular ignores the phenomenon of the disappearance of insects that we are witnessing. “
The article ends with an insert featuring a study published in Nature Stainability (Li, Miao and Khanna 2020) showing a strong link between the use of NNIs and the collapse of nesting birds.