Comprehensive action across the EU is needed to fight bee diseases that are threatening food supplies through lack of pollination, the European Parliament’s agriculture committee has said.

In a report approved today (6 October), MEPs warned rising bee mortality could devastate EU food production, as an estimated 76% of output in Europe depends on bee pollination.

The committee urged the European Commission and EU member states to boost research and training for beekeepers under a revised common agricultural policy (CAP) from 2013.

MEPs also called for national bee disease surveillance systems, harmonised bee disease data collection standards and incentives for the pharmaceutical industry to develop bee medicines.

The author of the report, Hungarian socialist MEP Csaba Sándor Tabajdi, said: "Global food safety is at stake. Pollination … benefiting the entire EU agriculture, can only be preserved by joint European action."