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EU votes to ban neonicotinoids


It's a first: The European Union has voted to implement a continent-wide ban on the use of neonicotinoids, alleged to harm bees. Of the 27 EU member states, 15 voted to suspend use of the insecticides --- which means the required majority was not met. The UK had previously abstained from voting, but changed its vote to no. Because a majority was not reached, the final decision on the ban will revert to the European commission, which would be responsible for implementing the ban. As proposed, the ban would prohibit neonicotinoid use in Europe for two years on flowering crops including corn, oilseed rape and sunflowers.

The Guardian reported Monday that representatives from Syngenta and Bayer CropScience have contested claims that the three neonicotinoids subject to the ban --- thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid --- pose risks to bees.

Read more of The Guardian's covereage here.

(Photo courtesy of Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University;