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Homebase is latest to suspend sales of pesticides linked to bee decline

Friends of the Earth secures third victory in two days as retailer promises to end sale of controversial chemicals.

Homebase has become the latest retailer to suspend the sale of controversial neonicotinoid chemicals linked to the recent decline in bee populations, lending further momentum to the campaign for a national ban on the pesticides.

The company yesterday sent a letter to Friends of the Earth, which is leading the campaign against neonicotinoid chemicals, confirming that "as a precautionary measure [it has] removed from sale the Bayer Lawn Grub Killer which contains imidacloprid".

The announcement followed similar letters earlier in the week from B&Q and Wickes confirming that they were to end the sale of two products containing chemicals that have been linked to bee decline.

"It's fantastic news that major retailers are removing pesticides linked to bee decline from their shelves," said Friends of the Earth's head of campaigns Andrew Pendleton in a statement.

"It's time for the government to act responsibly too - ministers must suspend from sale the three neonicotinoids named by European food safety experts earlier this month."

Friends of the Earth is also calling on the government to develop a National Bee Action Plan to develop a response to a worrying fall in bee populations, which scientists warn could have a severe impact on both natural habitats and agricultural production if it is not halted.

The NGO this week delivered a petition with over 64,000 signatures calling on the government to authorise the development of a new national strategy for supporting bee populations.

Homebase's decision came as executives from chemical giant Bayer gave evidence to a select committee of MPs, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to justify a ban on the use of neonicotinoids.

Source : Business Green

31 January 2013
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