EJF and PAN UK Commend the Parliamentary Report on Bee-Harming Pesticides
EJF and PAN UK applaud today’s report by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee which calls for the UK Government to implement a moratorium on the use of certain neonicotinoid pesticides on crops attractive to bees, and to support such a proposal in the EU.
EJF and PAN UK credit the report’s significant recommendations for improving Defra’s process for assessing the risks of pesticides, the implementation of measures to support bees and other pollinators and move away from the excessive use of chemicals in favour of sustainable pest management. In particular EJF and PAN UK are encouraged by the report’s conclusion that neonicotinoid pesticides are not fundamental to the general economic or agricultural viability of UK farming.
The report’s recommendations echo the calls of the joint EJF and PAN UK campaign for a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides and for Government support for the adoption of pollinator-friendly farming practices and the restoration of bee habitats. Our campaign continues, and we hope today’s report will help in persuading Defra to take action to protect our bees and our agricultural ecosystems, and to support the proposed EU moratorium on neonicotinoids on crops attractive to bees.
“The scientific evidence of the impacts of neonicotinoids was already overwhelming, but this new report by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee is also a powerful critique of Defra’s interpretation of the precautionary principle for economic rather than environmental protection. The report finds that Defra’s preoccupation with economics still missed the significant economic value of insect pollinators to UK agriculture. Up to now, the UK Government has failed to support a ban on neonicotinoids, despite France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands all voting in favour of a ban. They have cited lack of evidence as a reason to abstain. I sincerely hope today’s report will put a stop to Defra’s excuses. They can and must defend bees, other insect pollinators and their natural ecosystems, in order to safeguard UK agriculture and our food security.” Steve Trent, Executive Director of EJF
“Today’s report is a damning indictment of Defra, who have hitherto chosen to bury their head in the sand when it comes to neonicotinoids and bees. The scientific case for a ban on neonicotinoids and the promotion of alternative and sustainable methods of pest control in UK agriculture is irresistible. Having had opportunity to review all the available science, the Committee concluded what we have been saying all along, which is that neonicotinoid pesticides are not fundamental to the general economic or agricultural viability of UK farming. We hope, therefore, that Defra will now see sense and will do what is right for the bees and what is right for the well-being of UK farming.” Keith Tyrell, UK Director of PAN UK
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