At the heart of the summer, the ministry of Agriculture has signed a volte-face that could set a precedent : to allow the use of seeds that are surrounded insecticide powerful, neonicotinoids, for the production of sugar beet.
However, these products are prohibited since 1 September 2018, and the law biodiversity of 2016, defended at the time by a certain Barbara Pompili, today the minister of the ecological Transition, and solidarity. Neonicotinoids attack the nervous system of insects, including bees.
A sector in crisis
Julien Denormandie, minister of Agriculture, intends to “save the industry of the sugar beet” allowing these pesticides between 2021 and 2023. It responds to a request of the producers, which face a proliferation of green aphids, vectors of virus yellows.
The union CGB (general Confederation of beet growers), close to the FNSEA, has triggered the alarm by announcing a harvest 2020 cut by 30%, 600000 to 800000 tonnes of sugar.
This sector of the sugar beet for 46000 jobs and 21 sugar factory, France is the european leader, which has apparently motivated the decision of Julien Denormandie, who speaks of a sector strategic for our food sovereignty “.
Two years after the ban of neonicotinoids, the minister announced in parallel an envelope of 5 million euros to finance the research ” of alternative solutions that are really effective “. It would be the time !
In the meantime, this dispensation is granted to beet growers and provokes the wrath of the defenders of the environment, that speak of “back in time” or even ” terrible news for the environment “. The national Union of beekeepers (UNAF) mentions it in a letter, the consequences for the bees and all insect pollinators ” already strongly weakened in France “.
If this derogation is meant to answer a specific problem, there is another risk : allow of neonicotinoids in the fields of beets, it is also open a kind of box Pandorre. The corn producers have already seized on the ball. On Saturday, they have asked for a derogation to be able to use these insecticides against flies.