Greenpeace Taiwan yesterday urged the government to ban the use of certain pesticides after it released a report that showed more than two-thirds of pollen samples collected from beehives in 12 European countries were contaminated by more than one kind of pesticide, posing a threat to bee survival.
On Monday, National Taiwan University researchers said they discovered that even low levels of a commonly used pesticide — imidacloprid — can harm bees, causing them to lose their way back to their hives, which might be one of the main reasons the bee population has declined in recent years.
On Tuesday, the Council of Agriculture said that the European Food Safety Authority only enforced a temporary precautionary measure on the use of imidacloprid — banning the pesticide from use on seeds, leaves and soil — but further review is needed to determine whether the policy is adequate.
The council also said that a recent EU study showed the reason for the large decline in the European bee population is climate change.
Greenpeace Taiwan said yesterday that the organization collected pollen from beehives that showed traces of 53 pesticides in 100 samples destined to be food for bee larvae, and more than two-thirds of the samples contained more than one pesticide, including one with 17.
The organization said the report also detected DDE, a derivative of DDT, a pesticide banned decades ago, and frequent detection of the insect nerve-poison thiacloprid, a neonicotinoid, in many samples from Germany.
“This study on contaminated pollen reveals the unbearable burden of bees and other vital pollinators,” Greenpeace Ecological Farming campaigner Matthias Wuthrich said. “Bees are exposed to a cocktail of toxic pesticides.”
Greenpeace Taiwan’s agriculture project manager Tsai Szu-ting (蔡絲婷) said the council should set a schedule for banning certain pesticides that kill bees, which would be a more effective measure to support the bee population, rather than denying the relationship between the use of pesticides and the declining bee population.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu