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British ban on neonicotinoids urged

April 5, 2013 at 4:54 PM

LONDON, April 5 (UPI) -- Britain should suspend the use of a number of pesticides linked to the widespread deaths of bees vital to crop production, a parliamentary committee says.

Members of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee are urging the government to declare a moratorium on the use of pesticide spray containing chemicals known as neonicotinoids, the BBC reported Friday.

Britain has so far refused to join a European Union ban on the substances, an approach committee members called "extraordinarily complacent."

The European Commission has proposed neonicotinoid sprays be restricted to crops not attractive to pollinators.

Two-thirds of wild species such as honey bees considered vital for pollinating around one-third of the world's crop production have suffered population declines in Britain, the parliamentary committee said.

A "growing body of peer-reviewed research" points the finger at a group of pesticides containing neonicotinoids, the MPs said.

"We believe the weight of scientific evidence now warrants precautionary action," Labor MP Joan Walley, the committee chairwoman, said.

"So we are calling for a moratorium on pesticides linked to bee decline to be introduced by January 1 next year."

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