The ban “will exacerbate unfair competition with European and non-European producers” still allowed to use the pesticides, they warned.
A report by France’s ANSES public health agency said in May there were “sufficiently effective, and operational” alternatives to the majority of neonicotinoids used in France.
Others believe the ban should go further.
“There are pesticides all over the place,” Fabien Van Hoecke, a beekeeper in Saint-Aloué in Brittany, who lost 86 per cent of his bees over the winter. While the ban was “a good thing, it won’t save us,” he told AFP, predicting that as soon as they are withdrawn, they will be “replaced by others”.