Tom Backs the ban on bee harming pesticides

Tom Blenkinsop MP has added his name to a growing list of MPs who are opposed to lifting of the ban on bee harming pesticides.

Neonicotinoids have been restricted across Europe since 2013 due to mounting evidence that they pose a risk to bees. Ministers are currently considering an application to allow their use again.26930623695_5c5aa16976_z

Tom Said: “We should be in no doubt about the importance of pollinators to our food supply, biodiversity and the economy. The decline in bee numbers should worry us all.

“The European Commission announced in 2013 that it would restrict the use of neonicotinoids to crops that are not attractive to bees after the European Food Safety Authority concluded that three commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides pose an unacceptable danger to bees.

“The Government initially opposed the ban in 2013, has approved an application for the ban to be lifted in autumn 2015 and are now considering lifting it again, going against a growing body of scientific data.

“Government statistics, published in December, show that the average yield of UK oilseed rape actually increased in 2015 – the second harvest without neonicotinoids. It is vital to take a science-led approach to pesticide use and to consider how best to support farmers, protect wildlife and reverse the decline of pollinators.

“There are, of course, many reasons for the decline of pollinators, including habitat loss, climate change and pests and diseases. The government cannot continue to ignore the threat to bees from neonicotinoids, the he European-wide ban represents a proportionate response to the evidence. I will continue to lobby the government to keep the ban on neonicotinoids.”

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