• • • France bans bee-killing insecticides
The use of neonicotinoids, insecticides that contributed to the decline in the bee population, has been banned in France. The French ban goes further than a European Union measure and has angered some farmers. As from on Saturday 1 September 2018 the use of five neocotinoids – clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, thiacloprid and acetamiprid – is illegal in France.
Introduced in the mid-1990s, lab-synthesised neonicotinoids are based on the chemical structure of nicotine and attack the central nervous system of insects. They were meant to be a less harmful substitute to older pesticides and are now the most widely used to treat flowering crops, including fruit trees, beets, wheat, canola and vineyards. But they have been found to harm bee reproduction by diminishing sperm quality and foraging by scrambling their memory and navigation functions.