8 Feb 2013

Govt to Ignore EU Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides

Friends of the Earth in the Forest send me a regular newsletter - in the latest issue they write about the governments failure to act to protect bees - an issue this blog has returned to several times - this latest twist, if the government really does ignore the recommendation, does show the complete failure of this government to make any sense.... 


Twice in the past 3yrs, the Govt has been asked, on the basis of compelling evidence, to suspend the use of the new generation of neonicotinoid pesticides, until the increasingly worrying evidence that they’re extremely harmful to bees & other pollinating insects has been shown to be unfounded.

1st in 2009, by a coalition of environmental groups led by Buglife, the invertebrate conservation charity; 2nd in 2011 by Labour MP Martin Caton, after America's leading bee scientist had found a harmful link.
On each occasion the request was ignored by Defra.  Two wks ago the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommended neonicotinoid pesticides should be kept away from bees. So now the Independent’s website has that the British Govt is completely free to ignore recommendations from EU safety regulators that controversial nerve-agent pesticides should not be used on crops visited by bees, MPs were told. 
Herman Fontier, head of the pesticides division of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), told a Parliamentary Cttee that his organisation’s recommending 2wks ago that neonicotinoid pesticides, widely blamed for bee declines around the world, should be kept away from bees, was merely a risk assessment and it was up to individual EU member states whether or not to act on it. In Britain the Environment Sec, Owen Patterson, has already indicated that the Govt is likely to ignore the recommendation and is opposed to an immediate ban on three neonicotinoids highlighted by the EFSA report.  See


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