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Neonicotinoids and Bees

September 13, 2016

In recent weeks, I have contacted by a number of constituents with their concerns over the use of pesticides in UK farming.

Having made representations to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have now received the below response from the Minister of State, George Eustice MP.

Defra – Neonicotinoids and Bees

As you will see, Mr Eustice writes that protecting bees and other pollinators is a priority for the Government. He has provided the information for how to find more about the Government’s National Pollinator Strategy which outlines policy and framework currently in place.

Mr Eustice goes on to say that the UK has implemented the restrictions on neonicotinoids in full. The European Commission has launched a review into the the science relating neonicotinoids and bees and Mr Eustice states that the UK will continue to contribute to the review. He adds that the Government continues to believe that the decisions on the use of neonicotinoids should be based on all available scientific information.

The Minister goes on to say that throughout 2016, the National Farmers Union has submitted applications for the emergency use of neonicotinoids against pests. Based on the evidence and the advice Mr Eustice received from the UK Expert Committee on Pesticides, he states that he rejected all of the applications.

Regarding the result of the referendum, Mr Eustice says that there is no immediate change in the Department’s position following the result and they will continue to work with the EU as normal. Until the withdrawal agreement to leave the EU comes into force, the Department will still be bound by EU law. He states that once the UK has left the EU, the Department will continue to follow a science-led approach to pesticide policy.

The web links that the Minister has provided in his letter which contains further information on this issue can be found below should these be of interest.