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Two year pesticide ban to help bees rejected by member states

A proposal by the European Commission to instate a two-year ban on the use of pesticides, which are linked to the decline of bee populations, has been rejected by member states with only 13 of 27 nations voting in favour of the ban. Those who voted against the Commissions proposal included the Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Hungary, Austria, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia while Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, Italy, Slovenia, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Malta, France, Sweden, Latvia and Cyprus supported the ban. Five countries (Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Finland and the UK) abstained. In January EFSA identified three neonicotinoid insecticides - clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam – which have a “high acute risk” to pollinators such as the endangered honeybee. The ban would have meant these pesticides could not have been used for the cultivation of sunflower, maize, rapeseed oil, and cotton, and would cover the three main application techniques - seed coating, granular pesticides and spraying. The commission had already made changes to its original proposal after pressure from major pesticide producers including, exemptions for pesticide spraying after flower blossom as well as the use of the three neonicotinoid insecticides to bee-attractive crops in greenhouses. READ MORE

Issue 21