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Controversial weedkiller could be killing bees

By Mary O'Connor, news reporter
A controversial weedkiller that has been linked to cancer in humans could also be killing bees, scientists have warned.
Research from the US suggests glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, a well-known weedkiller, may be adding to the decline of honey bees around the world.
The study says that bees exposed to the substance lose beneficial gut bacteria, which could leave them vulnerable to fatal infection by harmful bugs.Lead researcher Erick Motta, from the University of Texas, said: "We need better guidelines for glyphosate use, especially regarding bee exposure, because right now the guidelines assume bees are not harmed by the herbicide."Our study shows that's not true."
Controversial weedkiller could be killing bees

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The maker of Roundup says evidence shows the product is safe
Scientists exposed honey bees to the chemical at the same levels known to occur in crop fields, gardens and road sides.After three days, those bees had significantly reduced levels of healthy gut bacteria.Those bees with impaired gut microbiomes were more likely to die when later exposed to a harmful bacterium, Serratia marcescens.After eight days, the bacterium had killed 90% of the bees that had been exposed to glyphosate.Scientists believe the chemical could be linked to "colony collapse disorder", a term that describes the decimation of bee hives, in America and Europe.However, Bayer, the parent company of Roundup's makers Monsanto, dismissed the findings, saying that evidence showed its product was safe.
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