French environmentalists have reacted angrily to the government’s decision to lift the ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, known to kill bees, in order to help sugar beet growers save their crop from a virus.
Activists including Greenpeace, former environment ministers and beekeepers accused President Macron’s administration of giving in to the demands of the powerful sugar beet industry, the second largest in the world.
The agriculture ministry said it had granted a request from producers to suspend the ban, imposed in 2018 as part of a European ban, for two years to overcome an emergency. “French sugar beet producers are facing an unprecedented crisis: the jaundice virus transmitted by aphids has developed massively. . . and will have a significant impact on production