Call for halt to pesticides in bee deaths

Jan. 26, 2011 at 6:15 PM
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LONDON, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Pesticides implicated in widespread bee deaths should be discontinued in Britain pending scientific evidence about their effects, U.K. politicians were told.

Labor MP Martin Caton told the House of Commons a new generation of "neonicotinoid" pesticides is linked by "a growing weight of science" to insect losses, The Independent reported Wednesday.

"Alarm bells should be ringing" about neonicotinoids, which are "systemic" insecticides present in every part of treated plants, including the pollen and nectar that bees and other pollinators gather, Caton said.

Research in the United States suggests neonicotinoids make honeybees far more vulnerable to diseases, the Independent reported.

Caton called on U.K. Food and Farming Minister Jim Paice to suspend use of neonicotinoids "until the best scientific evidence gives them the all-clear."

The government's position is that the compounds are safe when used properly, even though they have been banned, in varying degrees, in other countries, The Independent reported.

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