It worked: a million signatures against bee venom

“We are very happy,” says Jaap Molenaar of the Bijenstichting. It has been quite exciting in recent days whether the million would be reached. “Because it is a citizens’ initiative, people had to share all kinds of personal information such as place of birth and date of birth, because of all the privacy scandals we also heard from people: I am not participating in this.”

The European Union needs this personal data to verify its authenticity. That will happen in the near future. Nature organizations therefore call on today to support the petition to arrive at a safe number – in case part of the registration is incorrect.

80 percent less poison

The initiators of the citizens’ initiative ‘Save bees and farmers’ want the use of synthetic pesticides to be reduced by 80 percent by 2030. By 2035, pesticides should no longer be used at all.

“The European agricultural system is at a dead end,” says Molenaar. According to him, farmers are forced by supermarkets to produce as cheaply as possible, making it virtually impossible to switch to a sustainable way of farming – without poison. “While huge profits are being made at those supermarkets. Those revenues really have to shift.”

Molenaar thinks that more and more people are becoming aware of the role of the bee: 70 percent of the plants in our food supply depend on pollination by insects, he says. The disadvantages of the use of pesticides are also ‘in the spotlight’.

Unfairly well done

Although consumers sometimes wrongly think they are doing a good job. Last month, a laboratory test commissioned by the TV program Keuringsdienst van Waarde showed that even ‘bee-friendly’ plants from nature centers are full of poison. “12 of the 14 plants turned out to be non-bee-friendly.” Also people who buy flower bulbs and think they are doing a good job are usually wrong. They have often been sprayed – flower bulbs like poisonous bulbs. “If you buy flower bulbs, check whether they are organically grown.”

The goal of banning agricultural poisons is now mandatory for the European Commission to address. “It is really on the agenda. But we have to persevere and keep pressure on all parties of: ‘Guys, treat it seriously’. Really strive for this goal. This action is far from over. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we have enough signatures.”

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