BRUSSELS » The European Union made a key breakthrough Friday to ban pesticides that harm bees and their crop pollination.
The 28 member states got a large majority, representing some three-quarters of its population, backing the ban on the three prevalent neonicotinoid pesticides, which will take effect at the end of the year. The decision builds on a limited ban which has been in effect since 2013.
Antonia Staats of the Avaaz campaign group called it a “beacon of hope for bees. Finally our governments are listening.”
During the past several years, there’s been an alarming drop in bee populations, and there were fears it would start to affect crop production seriously because bees are necessary for the spread of pollen and reproduction.
The EU says it used a scientific review to identify pesticides as one of the factors causing the decline along with disease and climate change among others.
The European Commission is set to adopt the decision in the next few weeks.
— The Associated Press