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No change to pesticide regulations
bee pesticide neonicotinoid
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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Labour Party makes a pledge to end the badger cull

Labour MP Maria Eagle has promised the controversial badger cull will end if her party is voted in at the next election.

Speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, the MP for Garston and Halewood said: "A Labour government will tackle the scourge of bovine TB, but not by using a policy dubbed 'an epic failure' by the chief scientific advisor of Natural England.

"Conference, I want to make it clear today. We will put a stop to these inhumane, ineffective badger culls."

The second year of badger culling officially began in Somerset and Gloucestershire earlier this month.