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EU agrees on a ban on the use of neonicotinoids

The European Union will ban the world’s most widely used insecticides from all fields due to the serious danger they pose to bees.
Bee

The ban on neonicotinoids, approved by member nations today, is expected to come into force by the end of 2018 and will mean these insecticides can only be used in closed greenhouses.

This ban on three main neonicotinoids has widespread public as well as scientific support. Neonicotinoids, which are nerve agents, have been shown to cause a wide range of harm to individual bees, such as damaging memory and reducing queen numbers. Recent studies also show severe harm to colonies of bees, an extensive reduction of pollinating insects and suggested links to decreases in bird populations.

“This is a significant opportunity for farmers to start experimenting with more ecological methods for preventing pest outbreaks. Of course, some farmers may shift to using other types of insecticides, which may be as harmful, or even more harmful to the environment as the neonics now being banned. A ban of a harmful product is a step in the right direction but does not replace a well-designed agricultural policy that shifts the balance towards environmentally-friendly practices, and initiates the recovery of farmland biodiversity from the decreases we have seen in the past decades” says Yann Clough, professor at the Center for Environmental and climate research.

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