EU moves on bee pesticide ban

A ban on pesticides feared to be killing bees was on the cards today after a majority of EU governments backed a move fiercely resisted by the UK coalition.

Latest ITV News reports

EU Commission adopts pesticide ban to help bees

The EU Commission has adopted a controversial ban on the use of certain pesticides in an attempt to tackle the decline in bees, according to spokesman Koen Doens:

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The #bees are buzzing in the trees: @eu_commission adopts #EU wide restrictions on pesticide use, into force on 1 Dec http://t.co/SVFYDFo4YE

Watch: EU to introduce ban on pesticides linked to bee deaths

EU to introduce ban on pesticides linked to bee deaths

A ban on pesticides feared to be killing bees is set to be introduced in "coming weeks" after a majority of EU governments backed a move fiercely resisted by the UK coalition.

Beekeepers say the ban will only have a marginal effect on honey bees and wild bees and fear it will lead to farmers using older, more damaging pesticides.

ITV News Science Editor Lawrence McGinty reports:

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Bee expert: EU pesticide ban vote result 'good news'

Dr Nigel Raine, a bee researcher at Royal Holloway, has welcomed the result of an EU vote to introduce a ban of three pesticides believed to be harmful to bees.

He told ITV News it was "good news" and when the ban comes into effect it will be "crucial" to monitor bee populations to make sure it is effective.

He added that "we need to think about what we're going to use instead".

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EU to go ahead with ban in the 'coming weeks'

The European Commission said it would go ahead with the ban "in the coming weeks".

Although a majority of the 27 EU countries supported the move, the decision still fell short of the "qualified majority" of member states required to make the ban automatic.

Instead the Commission is seizing on its right - after two votes of EU member states failed to clear the hurdle - to make the final decision.

Although a majority of member states now support our proposal, the necessary qualified majority was not reached. The decision now lies with the Commission.

Since our proposal is based on a number of risks to bee health identified by the European Food Safety Authority, the Commission will go ahead with its text in the coming weeks.

I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over 22 billion euros (£18.5 billion) annually to European agriculture, are protected.

– EU HEALTH AND CONSUMER COMMISSIONER TONIO BORG

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'Overwhelming support' for pesticides ban

Today's vote makes it crystal clear that there is overwhelming scientific, political and public support for a ban.

Those countries opposing a ban have failed. Now, the Commission must draw the only conclusion possible and immediately halt the use of these pesticides as a first step to protect European food production and ecosystem.

– Marco Contiero, Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director

EU govts and coalition at odds over pesticides ban

Greenpeace urged the European Commission to act swiftly to introduce the ban on three pesticides. Credit: PA Wire

A ban on pesticides feared to be killing bees was on the cards today after a majority of EU governments backed a move fiercely resisted by the UK coalition.

After a vote in Brussels, Greenpeace urged the European Commission to act swiftly to introduce the ban for at least two years on three pesticides the organisation says have been shown scientifically to be harmful to bees.