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The biggest news in the garden industry at the moment is by far the EU's planned ban on neonicotinoid pesticides. Naturally, a number of growers and pesticide suppliers are concerned this will have a detrimental impact on business and crop production in the UK, with some describing the move as a "setback" and "unjustified".

However, most would rightly argue that the impact on these crops and flowers and, in turn, our eco-system, if our native bee populations died out would be even more catastrophic

As always when environmental concerns threaten to have an impact on commercial industries, it is a very complex issue, certainly on a par with the ongoing peat debate.

Without any expert knowledge in this field, I find myself in a position where I cannot support one argument or another when it comes to the ban. My only allegiance is with the bees and the fact that it is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed. And it is this point and the urgency of the issue that will force the EU's hand and make them take action - even if many feel enough supporting evidence has not been provided.

It seems very easy to say, 'we'll put the ban in place for a couple of years and see what happens - if we're wrong, we'll lift it' - but for those whose product ranges and ultimately their performance depend on these key ingredients, it is a very costly and in some cases devastating decision the EU is taking.

I expect, like the peat debate, this argument will be ongoing, particularly with so many other contributory factors being put forward as reasons for the rapid bee decline. With the decision made and out of our hands, it is now waiting game to see if the ban will have the positive effect hoped for the bee population.
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Posted by Fiona Garcia | 8 May 2013 | 11:14 | More from: Editor's Blog

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