Last chance for UK to support EU pesticide ban

beeOn Monday 29 April EU governments will vote on whether three types of pesticides should be restricted, following evidence that they are harmful to bees.

So far EU governments have not been able to reach a majority either for or against the proposal, with the UK government failing to support action on the pesticides.

The European Commission is now taking the proposal to its appeals committee.  If Member States are still unable to reach an agreement, the Commission would be able to take the decision to ban the pesticides.

Glenis Willmott, Leader of Labour MEPs and spokesperson for health and food, said “many of my constituents are rightly concerned that the bee population is in crisis worldwide.  In the UK bees have declined by 30% since 2007.  As around three quarters of crops are reliant on pollination by bees, this is something we have to take very seriously.”

“Labour MEPs have been pushing for action on this for years.  This January the European Food Safety Authority stated that three types of neonicotinoid pesticides are harmful to bees, and their use should be restricted.  Now we must take urgent action.”

“I am glad the European Commission has pushed the British government on this.  Clearly the government has listened more to the lobby of the big pesticide companies than to the concerns of their own constituents.  Owen Paterson has one last chance to side with scientists, environmental campaigners and citizens and vote in favour of restricting these harmful pesticides.”

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