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Last edited on: 09:11:2017

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NFU reaction to neonicotinoids announcement

Honey bees on comb_3742

The UK supports further restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids, Michael Gove has said. Setting out the UK's position in a Defra press release, the Secretary of State said 'the UK supports further restrictions on the use of these pesticides. Unless the scientific evidence changes, the government will maintain these increased restrictions post-Brexit.'

NFU comment:

Dr Chris Hartfield, NFU acting chief science and regulatory affairs adviser, said: “Farmers are acutely aware that bees play a crucial role in food production. Farmers rely on bees to pollinate crops and have planted around 10,000 football pitches of flower habitat across the country to support a healthy bee population and give them a good home.

“We deeply regret the decision the Government has taken on this issue as we don’t believe the evidence justifies this abrupt change in policy. We will continue to speak to the Government about how the impact of the decision can best be mitigated so that farmers can maintain sustainable and productive cropping systems.”

chris hartfield pollinator web crop_44359

Dr Hartfield was also quoted in The Guardian today, he said: “Farmers are acutely aware that bees play a crucial role in food production and have done an enormous amount to help them.” But he said the committee’s finding of “unacceptable effects” came despite their acknowledgement of a gap in understanding in whether neonicotinoids damage overall ecosystem services.


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