Subscribers to The cross, we were astonished by the publication of Mr. Gourguechon’s letter which includes inaccuracies. Beet was introduced by Napoleon as part of the English blockade on the import of foodstuffs including sugar essential to the population. This plant enters an essential crop cycle: sugar beet, wheat, sometimes a secondary grain, potatoes, corn, canned peas or rapeseed, for example, followed by new wheat. We are therefore very far from a monoculture. This beet does not bloom the first year, tearing off in October and November before flowering. With rare exceptions, there is therefore no impact on bees. The decision to temporarily re-authorize neonicotinoids is a wise decision to save our sugar industry and its 40,000 jobs. (…)
Jean-Pierre Reali, Ensat agricultural engineer, and Michel Degrendel, honorary land and agricultural expert
I really enjoyed your articles on neonicotinoids. On the other hand, I regret that it is not specified that although “Harvested one year before flowering, beetroot (either) not polluted by bees “, neonicotinoids (because they are impregnated in the soil through the seed coating) they are present in the soil long after the beets are harvested, thus contaminating subsequent crops, as well as nearby wild plants and the entire surrounding environment, which has an impact on bees and other wild pollinators.
After having limited the proliferation of predatory insects by aerial treatments, some twenty years ago, research allowed the development of a new technique: the coating of the seed with an insecticide. The required dose has been divided by 1000 and concerns only biting insects. By banning the neonicotinoids present at very low doses in the coating of the seeds, we had to go back to the old spraying solution of insecticides (which is moreover very ineffective), I remind you, with much higher doses … What a regression! I am in favor of banning neonicotinoids, when the negative effects are proven, but dogmatically rejecting any intermediate solution that science and research offer us constitutes a danger for our society. It is this obscurantism that saddens me. (…)