Wed, May 02, 2018 - Page 14 News List

EU to ban bee-killing pesticides
歐盟將禁用有害蜜蜂之農藥

A bee gathers pollen from a flower on a cherry tree in a garden outside Moscow on May 22 last year.
在一朵櫻花上採集花粉的蜜蜂。去年五月二十二日攝於俄國莫斯科近郊一座花園。

Photo: AFP
照片:法新社

The EU on Friday backed an almost total ban on insecticides blamed for killing off bee populations, in a move hailed by environmentalists as a “beacon of hope”.

Bees help pollinate 90 percent of the world’s major crops, but in recent years have been dying off from “colony collapse disorder,” a mysterious scourge blamed partly on pesticides.

EU countries voted for a ban on the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides in fields, the European Commission said, meaning that they can only now be used in covered greenhouses where they cannot get into the environment.

The EU brought in a partial ban in 2013 but decided on more drastic action after a major report by European food safety agency said in February that the chemicals posed a risk to honey bees and wild bees.

Opposition from chemical giants

But two chemical giants whose products are affected — Switzerland’s Syngenta and Bayer of Germany — opposed the ban.

Bayer said in a statement that it “will not improve the lot of bees or other pollinators. The decision will further reduce European farmers’ ability to tackle important pests, for many of which there are no alternative treatments available.”

Why ban neonicotinoids?

Unlike contact pesticides — which remain on the surface of foliage — neonicotinoids are absorbed by the plant from the seed phase and transported to leaves, flowers, roots and stems.

They have been widely used over the last 20 years, and were designed to control sap-feeding insects such as aphids and root-feeding grubs.

Past studies have found neonicotinoids can cause bees to become disorientated such that they cannot find their way back to the hive, and lower their resistance to disease.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. insecticide n.

農藥、殺蟲劑 (nong2 yao4, sha1 chong2 ji4)

2. colony collapse disorder phr.

蜂群崩壞症候群 (feng1 qun2 beng1 huai4 zheng4 hou4 qun2)

3. pollinator n.

授粉者 (shou4 fen2 zhe3)

4. pest n.

害蟲 (hai4 chong2)

5. disorientated adj.

迷失方向的 (mi2 shi1 fang1 xiang4 de5)

6. hive n.

蜂巢 (feng1 chao2)


Fears have been growing globally in recent years over the health of bees.

Pesticides have been blamed as a cause of colony collapse disorder along with mites, pesticides, virus and fungus, or some combination of these factors.

The United Nations warned last year that 40 percent of invertebrate pollinators — particularly bees and butterflies — risk global extinction.

(AFP)

歐盟上週五通過一項禁令,幾乎全面禁用會殺死蜂群的農藥,此舉被環保人士譽為「希望的明燈」。

世界上百分之九十的主要作物是藉蜜蜂之助來授粉,但近年常發生的「蜂群崩壞症候群」,讓蜂群接連死亡。「蜂群崩壞症候群」的成因不明,但部分歸咎於農藥的使用。

歐盟執行委員會表示,歐盟國家投票決定,禁止在田野施用三種類尼古丁(又稱新菸鹼)農藥,這也就是說,這些農藥只能在有遮蓋的溫室中使用,以防止農藥進入生態環境。

歐盟已於二○一三年實施部分禁令,但在歐洲食品安全署二月發布一份重要報告,指出化學藥劑對蜜蜂和野生蜂所造成的威脅後,歐盟決定採取更嚴厲的措施。

化工巨頭的反對

然而,產品受到影響的化學藥劑兩巨頭──瑞士的先正達公司和德國的拜耳公司──反對這項禁令。

拜耳在一份聲明中表示,這個禁令「不會改善蜜蜂或其他授粉昆蟲的命運,這個決策將更降低歐洲農民防治主要害蟲的能力,因為要除這些蟲害,很多是沒有其他替代方法的。」

為何要禁用類尼古丁農藥?

與接觸性農藥(留在葉面上以發揮作用)不同,類尼古丁農藥在植物仍為種子階段時即被吸收,並輸送至葉、花、根和莖。

類尼古丁農藥在過去二十年中廣泛使用,用來抑制蚜蟲等吸取植物汁液的昆蟲,以及啃食植物根部的幼蟲。

過去已有研究發現類尼古丁可能會使蜜蜂迷失方向、找不到飛回蜂巢的路,並降低蜜蜂對疾病的抵抗力。

近年來,蜂群的健康狀況在全球都愈來愈令人擔憂。

農藥連同蟎蟲、殺蟲劑、病毒和真菌,或這些因素的某種組合,都被歸咎為蜂群崩壞症候群的肇因。

聯合國去年警告說,全球百分之四十的無脊椎動物授粉者──尤其是蜜蜂和蝴蝶──正面臨滅絕的威脅。

(台北時報林俐凱編譯)

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