United Kingdom 'will support' neonicotinoid pesticide ban

Postado Novembro 09, 2017

Neonicotinoids are the world's most widely used insecticide but in 2013 the European Union banned their use on flowering crops, although the United Kingdom was among the nations opposing the ban.

The proposed new measure would extend the ban to cover all use of the three pesticides except in covered spaces such as greenhouses.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has thrown its support behind an European Union bill which would ban the use of neonicotinoids, a group of pesticides that are toxic to bees and other insects.

"That is not a risk I am prepared to take, so the United Kingdom will be supporting further restrictions on neonicotinoids. We can not afford to put our pollinator populations at risk".

"The weight of evidence now shows the risks neonicotinoids pose to our environment, particularly to the bees and other pollinators which play such a key part in our £100bn food industry, is greater than previously understood", Gove said. He said pollinators boost the yield and quality of United Kingdom crops by £400m-£680m every year and said, for example, gala apple growers are now having to spend £5.7m a year to do replace the work of lost natural pollinators.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said the government's turnaround on the neonicotinoid pesticides was due to the rising amount of evidence showing the extent to which they contaminated the landscape and caused significant damage to bee colonies.

This and other research was examined by the UK's Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP), which published its updated advice on Thursday.

"Not to act would be to risk continuing down a course which could have extensive and permanent effects on bee populations". "They advise that the evidence now supports the restrictions introduced in 2013; indeed, there may also be a case for going further".

Boyd warned in September that the assumption by regulators around the world that it is safe to use pesticides at industrial scales across landscapes is false.

The neonicotinoid family includes imidacloprid, a pesticide marketed by Bayer and the most popular pesticide in the world.

A total ban would have an impact on cereal growers in the United Kingdom who use pesticides to protect their crops.

"We warmly welcome the UK's change of position", said Matt Shardlow, at insect conservation group Buglife.

The Government will reverse its opposition to a EU-wide ban on pesticides harmful to flying insects, Michael Gove has announced.

But Gove said: "While there is still uncertainty in the science, it is increasingly pointing in one direction". He said a post-Brexit farming subsidy system would channel more money into environmentally sustainable ways of farming.