An MEP Submitted An EU Proposal To Ban Sulfoxaflor To Save Bees
- So why did it fail?

First, let me state this:

       like many, I get fed up when politicians oppose each other just for the sake of it, and in spite of the greater good. 

I know I'm not alone in this, and every now and then, we hear some bleatings from various politicians on differing sides of the political spectrum, promising us they shall refrain from doing it.  And sometimes they do :) !

So in practice, what does this mean? 

It means that if necessary, political groups from opposing sides, should not play political games, and instead, should unite on issues of significance. 

This is easily explained by a political group to its supporters - and on either side of the debate, by a simple statement, such as:

"Whilst we are in no way aligned to the general principles of this party, the issue at stake here is important, and for the greater good, and because of this, we have decided to support it".

Indeed, 'working together' is not impossible.  In the UK, we have cross party committees, (the Environment Audit Committee, for example), comprising a mixed bunch of politicians.

So let's get back to bees.....


In July 2015, and despite the EFSA conclusions on neonicotinoids, a new insecticide, Sulfoxaflor, a systemic neurotoxin, was approved by the EU.

This insecticide has been found to be effective against 'target pests' which have built up a resistence to the neonicotinoid Imidacloprid.

In the USA, the court overturned the initial approval of this pesticide earlier in the year.


Attempt to overturn EU approval of Sulfoxaflor, and gain a ban

On October 13th, a Member of the European Parliament, Sylivie Goddyn, attempted to secure a ban on Sulfoxaflor in the EU.  You can find the relevant document here (1). 

The MEP was outvoted 31 votes to 18.  So why did the ban fail?

The answer is suggested in the EU news site, Euractive:

"We plan to propose another amendment on sulfoxaflor very soon. But it must be politically coherent. We cannot support people that want to destroy Europe. All the Socialist & Democrat (S&D) group members of the Environment Committee voted against it," the French Socialist MEP Guillaume Balas explained.”

Read the full article here:

http://www.euractiv.com/sections/eu-priorities-2020/national-front-stung-attempt-ban-bee-pesticide-318596

The article suggests the Socialist parties opposed the proposal, because it came from Marine Le Pen's party.

I find this absolutely inexcusable!

Bees are NOT political pawns!  Throughout my campaigning, I have actively supported any politician in any attempts to help bees, never mind the political party, and whether I like them or not! 

As regards the statement:

"We plan to propose another amendment on sulfoxaflor very soon. But it must be politically coherent".

I find this totally disingenuous, and merely an excuse to justify opposing the ban for political reasons.  If the other parties had any amendments to add, additional proposals could have been submitted later, instead of playing politics and time wasting.

No doubt, something will be drafted in order for the opposition parties to save face, but I shall be very interested to see if the difference is anything of substance, workable, and worthy of delaying Goddyn's amendment. 

Meanwhile, time ticks by.

Bees are too important for political games, M. Balas.

As a voter, I expect MEPs to rise above childishness in order to act in the interests of the greater good.  That is what tax payers expect when they pay your huge wages!  Judging by the scale of opposition to neonicotinoids in France, no doubt that is what French voters are wanting too. 



Refs:

1. Also, see: Objection pursuant to Rule 106: Maximum residue levels for sulfoxaflor: http://www.emeeting.europarl.europa.eu/committees/agenda/201510/ENVI/ENVI%282015%291012_1/sitt-1233688


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