Neonicotinoids: French beet farmers will be banned from using these controversial pesticides in 2023

Neonicotinoids: French beet farmers will be banned from using these controversial pesticides in 2023

The Minister of Agriculture announced on Monday that the derogation for beet growers to use neonicotinoids in 2023 would not be extended.

Neonicotinoids are gone, even for beet growers. This Monday, January 23, Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau announced that the derogation that previously allowed these growers to use these pesticides to protect their seeds will not be extended in 2023.

Several substances have been banned in the EU since 2018, but around ten countries, including France, had made exemptions to preserve the sugar crops. These insecticides make it possible to control a beet yellow aphid vector.

Except that neonicotinoids, which attack insect nervous systems, are also involved in the massive bee die-offs. The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) therefore decided last Thursday that no exceptions are justified with regard to their use.

The privilege granted to French beet growers in 2021 and 2022 is therefore no longer relevant in 2023. The draft regulation to extend this derogation, which is currently in the public consultation, is therefore abandoned.

A device to hedge against the risk of loss

“I have no intention of walking around the farmers and especially those who are worried,” Marc Fesneau explained during a press conference in Paris. The government will not propose a “third year of derogation for beet seed coating, for this element it is over, the decision of the (European) Court of Justice is strong enough not to further destabilize the system”.

See also  Death of Takeoff: Justin Bieber, Drake and Quavo pay tribute to him at his funeral

To reassure the representatives of the sugar beet sector, the minister assured a system that allows “covering the risk of losses […] related to jaundice” are introduced “while we find the alternatives we need”.

Knowing that France is the leading European sugar producer, Marc Fesneau also wants to “activate the safeguard clauses at European level so that there is no distortion of competition”.