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European court upholds pesticide ban

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European court upholds pesticide ban

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A European court has upheld a partial ban on three insecticides, saying the European Commission had been right to restrict their use to protect bees.

The ruling covers three substances known as neonicotinoids developed by the chemical giants Syngenta, Bayer and Takeda.

The General Court of the European Union ruled that the EU can take measures if there is scientific uncertainty about risks to human health or the environment.

The partial ban in 2013 meant the insecticides could not be used on maize, rapeseed and some cereals.

However, they could still be used for crops such as sugar beet.

The Commission had decided to review the approvals because of the loss of bee colonies due to the misuse of pesticides.

The review sparked a debate about the wider use of chemicals in farming, which environmental groups are keen to restrict.

A majority of EU countries last month backed a proposal to ban all use of neonicotinoids outdoors, limiting their use to crops in greenhouses.