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article imageEurope bans 'bee killing' pesticide

By Tim Sandle     May 4, 2013 in Environment
Brussels - The European Commission (EC) has agreed to restrict the use of the neonicotinoid pesticides blamed by some researchers for the widespread collapse of bee populations.
For the next two years, the EC will take a precautionary approach about the use of certain classes of pesticides. This is because many scientists consider that the use of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids could be responsible for triggering a decline in the population of bees. This news comes on top of a special Digital Journal report which highlighted how the same pesticide has been blamed for killing thousands of birds across the U.S.
The decline of bees is an issue of great importance. Bees pollinate roughly a third of the world’s food crops, so mass die-offs of bee colonies around the globe will potentially cause ecological problems and could impact on the availability of food, according to Medical Daily.
The link between the pesticide and the death of bees is not accepted by everyone and the issues has been the subject of intense debate over the past year or so, with researchers, lawmakers, and industry taking contrary positions.
The ban will not begin until December 2013. EC Health Commissioner Tonio Borg is quoted by the journal Nature as saying: "I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion [$28.7 billion] annually to European agriculture, are protected."
Unsurprisingly the ban has been welcomed by environmental groups and opposed by pesticide manufacturers.
More about Bees, Pesticide, neonicotinoids