The French Minster for Agriculture, Jean Glavany, has suspended the use of the insecticide, Gaucho, manufactured by Bayer for use on sunflower crops, after studies conducted last year failed to prove its active ingredient was not responsible for excessive bee mortality reported by beekeepers in recent years.

Environment Minister Dominique Voynet congratulated Glavany on his application of the precautionary principle. The Environment Ministry will be involved in further studies to determine the exact cause of the problem and all the factors that may be involved.

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