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Obama orders review of pesticides' effect on bees

Honey bees work in their hive at a outdoor market August 15, 2013, in WashingtonThe White House on Friday ordered environmental regulators to review the effect that pesticides may be having on bees and other pollinators that have suffered significant losses in recent years. Environmental advocates welcomed the plan but said it did not go far enough, noting that the European Union has already banned three common pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, on the basis that they were making bees sick. Honey bees contribute $15 billion in value to US crops annually, and have suffered severe losses in recent years due to a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder. The government’s new plan calls for the Environmental Protection Agency to “assess the effect of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on bee and other pollinator health and take action, as appropriate,” within 180 days.

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