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No change to pesticide regulations
Neonicotinoid law remains unchanged, despite link to bee decline

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have announced there will currently be no changes to UK pesticide regulations, following a review into the effects of neonicotinoids.

The pesticide neonicotinoid has been linked to a fall in the UK bee population, with scientists claiming that it causes worker bees to stop providing food and eggs for larvae, bumblebees to restrict food supply to the hive, and honey bees to experience a breakdown in their navigational abilities.

In response, several studies from earlier this year were assessed by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate of HSE, an independent expert advisory committee on pesticides, bee experts in DEFRA's Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) and DEFRA's Science Advisory Council.

Though the report said the studies were "interesting", it was not believed that permitted neonicotinoid levels would have a serious effect on bee populations.

Friends of the Earth nature campaigner, Paul de Zylva, said: "The govenment's failure to act on neonicotinoid pesticides is astonishing - there is still a massive question mark over the impact of these chemicals in declining bee populations."

DEFRA have commented that they are carrying out additional research, however they believe the studies were either not carried out under field conditions, or neonicotinoid was used at a higher dose to that which is currently permitted.

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Zoo announces birth of Western lowland gorilla

News Story 1
 A critically-endangered Western lowland gorilla has been born at London Zoo, the Zoological Society of London have announced.

Mum Effie (22) gave birth to a baby boy in the early hours of Wednesday, 25 November. Classed as critically endangered in the wild, Western lowland gorillas are threatened by habitat loss and hunting.

Keepers say that they will leave Effie to bond with the infant, and allow the rest of the troop to familiarise themselves with the new arrival. Image (C) Glynn Hennessy/ZSL 

News Shorts
Major retailers raise their milk prices

Iceland has raised the cost of its milk to 1 for four pints. Lobby group Farmers For Action has revealed that a similar announcement will be made by another major retailer - reported to be Asda according to Farmer's Weekly Farmer's Weekly

. The move follows intense lobbying and protests to address falling milk prices, which have placed huge financial burdens on UK dairy farmers.