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MEPs have overwhelmingly rejected an attempt by a UK Conservative MEP to oppose a full ban on neonicotinoid pesticides which have been linked to the decline of bees

Some 42 MEPs on the European parliament’s environment committee have voted against a proposal by Julie Girling MEP, which spoke out against plans by the European Commission to extend current restrictions on three neonicotinoid pesticides to all crops.

Neonicotinoids are the world’s most commonly used insecticides but have been banned on flowering crops in the EU since 2013. However, the European Food Safety Authority found in 2016 that using the pesticides on all types of crops poses a high risk to bees.

There is mounting scientific evidence supporting the proposal to extend the ban to more crops

Because of this, the European Commission proposed a ban on all uses outside greenhouses. Girling’s attempt to block the full ban was voted on today. Eight MEPs backed the motion, with seven abstentions.

Friends of the Earth nature campaigner Sandra Bell said: “We’re delighted MEPs are backing our bees and have overwhelmingly rejected this attempt to oppose a complete ban on bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides.

“There is mounting scientific evidence supporting the European Commission’s proposal to extend the ban to more crops, and this should now be backed by national governments.”

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