European countries backed a proposal to ban three neonicotinoid pesticides within six months in an effort to protect bees and other pollinators.
Pollinators and especially bees are crucial for global food production as they pollinate a major portion of all crops. In the recent years, there has been a decrease in the numbers of pollinators and one of the reasons for this is the excessive use of pesticides.
The ban on the use of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, approved by member nations of the European Union on Friday, is expected to come into force by the end of 2018. After that date, they will be allowed only in closed greenhouses, The Guardian reported.
“The commission had proposed these measures months ago, on the basis of the scientific advice from Efsa. Bee health remains of paramount importance for me since it concerns biodiversity, food production and the environment,” Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety said.
The ban on the main neonicotinoids has been widely supported with almost 5 million people signing a petition from campaign group Avaaz.
Antonia Staats at Avaaz said the ban on these toxic pesticides is a beacon of hope for bees. He added, “Finally, our governments are listening to their citizens, the scientific evidence and farmers who know that bees can’t live with these chemicals and we can’t live without bees.”
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