PARIS, March 18 French lawmakers approved plans
for a total ban on some widely used pesticides blamed for
harming bees, going beyond European Union restrictions in a
fierce debate that has pitched farmers and chemical firms
against beekeepers and green groups.
The EU limited the use of neonicotinoid chemicals, produced
by companies including Bayer CropScience and Syngenta
, two years ago after research pointed to risks for
bees, which play a crucial role pollinating crops.
Crop chemical makers say the research blaming neonicotinoid
pesticides is not backed up by field evidence and a global
plunge in bee numbers in recent years is a complex phenomenon
due to multiple factors.
The French outright ban on neonicotinoid pesticides was
adopted by a narrow majority late on Thursday by France's
National Assembly as part of a draft bill on biodiversity that
also contains an additional tax on palm oil.
The measure, however, would not come into effect until Sept.
1, 2018, later than the January 2017 deadline previously
proposed by some lawmakers.
The ban also needs to be approved by the French Senate,
which rejected it in a previous reading, before a final vote in
the National Assembly which is expected in the middle of the
(Reporting by Emile Picy and Gus Trompiz; editing by Bate Felix
and David CLarke)