Update on our position on neonicotinoid pesticides

Following the announcement that two agrochemical companies are to take legal action against the EU regarding the temporary ban on the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust wishes to re-state its position on these pesticides and the ban.

Our position has not changed from that originally stated on 30th April 2013, which you can read here.

We do not support the legal action being taken by the two companies. The temporary ban which is in place is based upon the precautionary principle, which states that we (charities, companies, governments and individuals) should not do anything unless we can be sure it is not causing an unacceptable level of harm. This two-year period should be used as a time to find answers as to just what the effects of the pesticides are. We are involved in studies to answer these questions and are working with the scientific community to gather the information that we need to proceed.

Instead of supporting campaigns to take action against the agrochemical companies, we are focussing our efforts on continuing our work to protect and create more much-needed bumblebee habitat.

In June of this year, Lord de Mauley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), announced that Government would proceed with the creation of a new National Pollinator Strategy (England). We applaud this decision, and have since been involved in the evolution of this strategy along with other charities and academics, under the co-ordination of DEFRA.

This strategy seeks to understand the extent and causes of declines in pollinators, and will set out a framework for future actions to conserve their populations. Part of this deals with how crop pest management should be carried out, so it is very relevant to the issue of pesticide use. We believe that this pioneering project is a step in the right direction, and signals recognition from the Government that action is needed to conserve our pollinators.

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