Editorial: At last, some sense on nerve-agent pesticides

 

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Never mind the argy-bargy between academic scientists and pesticide-producing companies, over whether so-called neonicotinoids have been unequivocally proven responsible for the alarming collapse in bee colonies.

With bees responsible for pollinating not just an array of flowers but also any number of food crops, even the suggestion that nerve agent pesticides might be behind their dwindling numbers should be enough to justify a moratorium on the use of such chemicals.

Thus far, however, the Government has dragged its feet, even going so far as to abstain in an EU vote on a neonicotinoid ban. Now, at last, policymakers are catching up. MPs are recommending that the use of three such pesticides be suspended, pending further investigation – and the Government has not yet said “no”. Slim progress, perhaps, on so vital an issue. But welcome, nonetheless.

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