38 degrees call on eBay UK to ban pesticides that kill bees

Campaigning organization 38 degrees has called on eBay UK to ban specific pesticides that are harmful to bees. Such products were banned last year by the EU and eBay in the UK, and across Europe has already banned such products for sale.

So why has 38 degrees got a bee in their bonnet about eBay? Well, they are worried that unwitting British buyers will buy the pesticides in question from sellers in the US. There the chemicals are not banned.

The email to 38 degrees members reads: “eBay sell shoes, blenders, headphones, handbags, t-shirts – and right now, they also sell illegal pesticides which kill bees.

Last year, hundreds of thousands of 38 Degrees members worked with a coalition of other organisations to get these pesticides banned in Europe. But eBay UK haven’t caught up.

Any unwitting gardener in the UK can buy them easily from sellers in America – all it takes is a few clicks. And there’s no mention of the fact that they’re illegal to use in Europe!”

I have had a quick look and the illegal pesticides are not numerous. And in any case, how many British gardeners are honestly going to buy pesticides from overseas anyway? At tops, only a handful. So 38 degrees’s fervour does seem to be rather misplaced. But it’s the favoured tool of slacktivists and many won’t examine the case closely and just fire off an email.

eBay have commented on the story: “eBay enforces the EU Commission’s ban of pesticides containing Neonicotinoids in order to protect bees in the EU. Sellers are legally not allowed to offer such pesticides on ebay.co.uk and we have implemented measures accordingly. We proactively search for these products using a sophisticated system based on rules, and also take down items reported by our users who share our commitment to keeping eBay safe. We continually review our processes and procedures and will remove the small number of listings of concern identified.”