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Concern mounts over EU's bees

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Concern mounts over EU's bees

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Twenty toxic ingredients in pesticides would be banned under an agreement between European Parliament and government negotiators. This is due to be put to a vote soon. Experts say the stuff is carcinogenic, harms human reproductive ability, the developing brain and immune systems. A lot of the substances are produced by the chemical giants – Epoxiconazole, Iprodion and Tepraloxydim, to name a few. If the deal is upheld, production authorisations for the chemicals will be withheld from 2009.

Aerial spraying would be forbidden as well. The risk of drift into populated and other ecologically sensitive areas is cited as the motivation behind this measure. The pesticides would also be disallowed in parks, public gardens, sports fields and playgrounds. The parliament’s Hiltrud Breyer said evaluation was continuing into the role of the blacklisted substances in the EU’s recent 30 percent annual mortality rate of bees, on which many fruit and vegetable crops depend for pollination.