Friday 15th March, 2013


Avaaz condemns Britain, Germany decision to keep killing bees, considers legal review

Avaaz today condemned the decision by Germany and Britain to abstain in the vote in Brussels and reject the proposed two year moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. The vote -- which saw 9 against, 5 abstentions and 13 in favour --  failed to reach a majority as a result of the UK and German decision to abstain. Avaaz and other organisations are now taking legal advice as to whether the failure to pass this deal today is open to judicial challenge.

Iain Keith, Senior Campaigner for Avaaz said:
"Today Germany and Britain have caved in to the industry lobby and refused to ban bee-killing pesticides. Today’s vote flies in the face of science and public opinion and maintains the disastrous chemical Armageddon on bees, which are critical for the future of our food. The 2.5 million people who have signed the Avaaz petition to protect bees will keep fighting the battle for their survival."

Over 2.5 million people across the world backed Avaaz’s campaign and this week over 359,000 of them called and emailed ministers and officials in Britain and Germany but in the end none of these governments supported the Commission’s proposals. The campaign can be seen here:

Yesterday Avaaz staged a stunt in Brussels to deliver the 2.5 million petition to EU leaders. Photos available for publication can be found here:

The EU Commission, buoyed by public support, resisted pressure from key capitals to waterdown its proposal. Avaaz hopes they will now appeal the decision.     

New opinion polls carried out for Avaaz by YouGov and by TNS Emnid this week found that:

  • 71% of the British public and 90% of Germans want their government to support the proposed ban in today’s vote.

  • 68% in the UK and 90% in Germany say their government should not permit the use of these pesticides in their country until it can be proved that they are safe for animals, humans and bees.


For more information or interview requests please contact Aldine Furio on +33 686 929 330, [email protected], or Will Davies on +447855 419901, [email protected]

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov (UK) or TNS Emnid (Germany). Total sample size was 1,968 adults in the UK and 1,001 adults in Germany. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th - 20th February 2013 in the UK, and between 8th - 9th March 2013 in Germany. The UK survey was carried out online, and the German survey was conducted by phone. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+) or German adults (aged 14+).

Avaaz is a 20-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making. ("Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages).Our team is spread across 19 countries on 5 continents and operates in 16 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz's latest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.