Our reaction to the EU ban on the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides

Please find below our CEO’s reaction to the announcement yesterday, Monday 29th April 2013, that the EU will go ahead with a two-year ban on the use of three neonicotinoids on crops attractive bees.

“We fully understand the reasons for, and support, this temporary ban. Neonicotinoids are just one of the reasons why our pollinating insects are in decline.  The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has taken a very measured view about the need for a temporary ban, because we have advocated the need for more testing in the field to understand better the effects of dose and exposure.  The important issue now, if a two-year EU-wide ban takes place from 1st December 2013,  is what happens next”.

“In light of the EU’s announcement, we remain strongly of the view that further testing in the field should be undertaken without delay. We are ready to assist government and other partners in making this happen. To inform that research we ask the agrochemical companies involved to consider making public the results of their risk assessment trials”.

“We strongly support the opinion that Government and statutory agencies should plan for greater investment in the monitoring of bumblebees and other pollinators, so that we truly understand what is going on in terms of population shifts and declines. Our Bee Walk project could offer a base on which to build in this context”.

“The decline in bee-friendly habitat is well identified as a primary issue for pollinator populations.  A ban on neonicotinoid pesticides on its own is not enough to arrest the decline in populations: further support is required in a number of areas, especially habitat creation. Governments, including the EU, should consider how they can best support the creation, enhancement and improvement of more suitable habitat for pollinators.   Finally, we continue to remain concerned about the potential use of alternative pesticides and urge farmers to adopt best practice to avoid similar issues arising”.   

Lucy Rothstein
Chief Executive
Bumblebee Conservation Trust

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