EU Eyes Pesticide Ban Over Bee Scare
Ban looks likely after pesticides blamed for decline in bee populations
A key committee of EU experts was meeting on Monday to mull a two-year ban on pesticides blamed for a sharp and worrying decline in bee populations.
European Union sources have said a decision to suspend the use of certain pesticides is likely following the closed-door talks between experts from the 27 member nations that kicked off at 08.00 GMT.
In the countdown to Monday’s decision, battle-lines have sharpened between environmentalists defending the bees, and farmers and pharmaceutical firms opposed to the ban on three pesticides from the so-called “neonicotonoid” family.
Internet-based global campaigner Avaaz, which has gathered 2.5 million signatures to save the insect, plans to float a giant plastic honey bee over EU headquarters to hammer home its message.
Pesticide producers Bayer of Germany and Switzerland’s Sygenta, the top player on the global agrichemical market, reject claims that their products are at fault in the fall of bee numbers and say studies behind the suggested ban are based on flawed science.