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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Bees win after EU votes for pesticide ban – no thanks to UK

LONDON MEP Jean Lambert has welcomed a two-year ban on the use of pesticides linked to the sharp decline in the bee population.

The moratorium, which was fist mooted by the European Commission following a critical report into the impact of neonicitinoid pesticides on bees by the European Food Safety Agency, has been backed by the UK parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee.

The two-year ban will give scientists a window to research the link more fully – and propose alternatives.

But the UK government, arguing that the science is inconclusive, voted against the move.

Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP, said: “This moratorium is excellent news: for the precautionary principle, for bees and our farmers, and for the millions of people who have expressed their view that a short-term ban is the only response to a massive collapse in our bee population.

“As well as the being the right thing to do for the health of our food chain, today’s decision also shows how successful public and NGO campaigning can be in the face of the lobbying efforts of the pharmaceutical industry.”

The final vote, in the EU’s ‘Comitology Appeals Committee’, saw 15 member states for the moratorium, eight against (including the UK) and four EU states abstain.