European Commission wants neonicotinoid restrictions

The European Commission (EC) has said that it wants EU member states to restrict the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which are believed to be harmful to bees.

The EC said the chemicals should only be used on crops that are not attractive to the insects and is asking EU countries to suspend the use of the pesticides on sunflower, rapeseed, maize and cotton.

It has requested that member states suspend the use of the pesticide for two years on seeds, granulates and sprays for crops which attract bees and expects the regulation to be implemented by July 1 at the latest.

Earlier this month the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) issued guidance on the use of neonicotinoids which recognised "high acute risks" to bees but stopped short of recommending a complete ban.

Retailers including Homebase, B&Q and Wickes have announced in recent days they will stop selling neonicotinoid products.


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