EU countries are poised to vote on a proposal to introduce tougher restrictions on three neonicotinoids in the coming days.
Member states will meet at the European Commission on 12-13 December to propose an extension of the ban to all outdoor crops.
The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (Scopaff) will discuss the proposals, and Member States may be asked to vote.
Four years ago the EU restricted use of three neonicotinoids in the spring and on flowering crops, but this could now go even further.
France has already stated that it will go ahead with a neonicotinoid ban, which is set to go into effect in 2018.
And in a surprising turn, the UK government has overturned its previous convictions on neonicotinoids and now say an outright ban is needed due to their supposed harm to pollinators.
If proposals are approved by a majority of EU member states, a complete ban could be in place this year. The European Commission has cited a risk to bees as one of the reasons for the ban proposal.
However, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said farmers across the country have already suffered heavy losses through oilseed rape crop damage following restrictions to the availability of neonicotinoids.
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