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EU defends action on neonicotinoids

The recent suspension of certain uses of neonicotinoid insecticides was not imposed because they are the main threat to bee health, but because they were the only factor that could be quickly regulated by the European Commission, says Michael Flüh, head of the chemicals unit in the EU Health and Consumers Directorate General (DG SANCO). Pesticides are just one of several factors that are impacting bees, but the others such as changing climate, biodiversity, food availability, pests and diseases cannot be tackled through a basic legal act, he adds. Mr Flüh was explaining the reasoning behind the suspensions at a Commission conference on bee health in April.

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