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Editorial: Ban on nerve-agent pesticides is another reason to be grateful for Europe


At last, some real progress in the fight against the nerve-agent pesticides widely blamed for the worldwide devastation of bee populations. Despite frenetic lobbying by companies that produce the chemicals, the European Commission yesterday imposed a two-year ban on the use of the neonicotinoids on any crops beloved by bees.

Not a moment too soon. Bees are not only wonderful in themselves, they are also vital for the pollination of any number of food crops. Pesticide-makers may claim that the case is unproven, but even the possibility of a link between human activity and the collapse in bee numbers should prompt a change of course.

How disappointing, then, that Britain was one of those that voted against. We can only be grateful that, elsewhere in Europe, better sense prevails. And grateful, too, that the EU ban applies here as much as anywhere.