EU bans neonicotinoid pesticides

The EU Commission voted on April 29 to impose. 2 year ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.  These products have been implicated in the disastrous fall in the wild bee population and the problem of  colony collapse among domestic honey bees.  One in every three bites of food eaten world wide depends on pollination by bees for a successful harvest so  the disappearance of bees will have terrible consequences.

The problem is that compared with older pesticides such as DDT (banned many years ago) nicotinoids pose little risk to humans.  They are systemic so only need to be applied once – reducing exposure of agricultural workers.  However that is where the risk  arises for bees.  The pesticides are present in the pollen and nectar of the treated plants.

The pesticide companies can (and do) point to the fact that the research is not totally decisive.  However the risk to the human race is so great if pollinators disappear that this is a ban we should all applaud and fight to maintain.

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