On World Bee Day, May 20th,the European Green Deal was released and few are happy with its final committee iteration but most unhappy will be conventional farmers.
The European Commission's Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies endorses the organic industry and calls for their share of the market to increase to 25 percent while other vested interests criticize that it does not do enough to reduce use of meat. Farmers are worried about lack of guidance around a call to reduce pesticide usage by 50 percent when BASF is so concerned about Europe's undermining of science they have begun outsourcing their research and development to the United States.
That they released both at the same time shows there is confusion in policy circles. Environmental NGOs worry that there are no guidelines, just a desire to make food 'less destructive' and their inclusion of biological science as possible solutions led to worry that genetic engineering won't be banned in favor of organic manufacturing techniques.
Farmers remain most concerned. They argue that bureaucrats accepted suspect data from environmental NGOs. Though there was a blip in bee deaths in Europe a few years ago, numbers rebounded from pest infestations as they have in the past, yet activist ecologists such as Dave Goulson appeared in outlets calling for bans on even targeted systemic pesticides, like the neonicotinoid products which have replaced mass spraying, while NGOs demanded an end to paraquat, chlorpyrifos, and atrazine elsewhere.
Friends of the Earth Germany and Austrian National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka are not waiting for the EU to act. The Social Democratic Party said they still intend to ban glyphosate even though there is no alternative they offer, but restrictions earlier this year failed due to legal challenges.