The European Parliament has voted in favour of tightening regulations governing the use of pesticides. MEPs approved two laws that will ban the most dangerous, cancer-causing pesticides throughout the European Union. The new laws will phase out the use of 22 extremely toxic compounds over the coming 10 years. Farmers will have to find an alternative for less toxic substances within five years. The new regulations still have to be approved by the 27 EU governments.
EU lawmakers also banned a number of substances deemed harmful to honeybees in an attempt to reverse the recent dramatic reductions in bee populations throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Many scientists say increased pesticide use is a major factor in the decline of bee populations. Bees are essential for pollination and according to one environmental action group, honeybees are responsible for the pollination of around 80 million tons of food produced in the European Union.
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