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EFSA starts study on bee decline

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has awarded a grant of €100,000 ($137,200) to a consortium of European scientific institutes to study the possible reasons for "colony collapse disorder" in honey bees. The nine-month project is due to begin this month. Late last year, the European Parliament called for more research to establish whether there are links between the health of bees and the use of pesticides and genetically modified crops ( Agrow No 557, p 10). The EFSA carried out a preliminary survey on bee mortality rates, honey production and pesticide residue levels in EU member states in 2008, but found that the different national surveillance methods made the results difficult to compare.

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