|On first anniversary of bee-harming pesticides restriction, more action is needed to protect UK bees|
Monday 1st December is the first anniversary of the two-year EU-wide restrictions on certain neonicotinoid pesticides. While the restriction was an important first step, it is clear that further action is needed to protect UK pollinators by giving precedence to scientific facts. One year on, the Bee Coalition is calling for a blanket ban on all neonicotinoid pesticides.
One year on from the start of this ban, the Bee Coalition is calling for a blanket ban on all neonicotinoid pesticides and for a permanent extension of the current ban.
Unfortunately, some groups continue to dismiss the science that shows the harmful effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinators and attempt to undermine the restrictions. For example, just a day after the Global Task Force on Systemic Pesticides review concluded “clear evidence of harm sufficient to trigger regulatory response”, neonicotinoid manufacturer Syngenta applied for an ‘emergency’ exemption that would allow 186,000 hectares of neonicotinoid treated oil seed rape to be planted.
Despite overwhelming evidence of risk and harm from use of neonicotinoids organisations such as the National Farmers Union (NFU), the Crop Protection Association (CPA) and the Government’s Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) continue to argue that insufficient evidence of harm and potential reductions in yield mean the restrictions should be overturned.
In response, the Bee Coalition has released a fact sheet addressing 10 common myths about neonicotinoids and the pesticide industry.
One such myth is that there is no evidence to show that neonicotinoids are harmful to pollinators. However, although we acknowledge that pollinators face a number of stressors, evidence shows that neonicotinoids can have a huge impact on pollinator health. The Global Task Force on Systemic Pesticides reviewed 800 studies covering birds, animals, soil and water as well as bees. The review concluded that the group most affected by neonicotinoids were terrestrial invertebrates, such as earthworms, followed by insect pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. They recommend a complete global phase-out, or at least a significant reduction, of neonicotinoid use.
The fact sheet also addresses the myths about neonicotinoids perpetuated by the pesticide industry and certain big farming interests, such as:
1 December 2014