I attended the debate in Westminster Hall on the 7th December 2015 which generated much interest and was well attended.
I am passionate about bees and I have long campaigned for greater protection for these pollinators that are so very vital to our environment, wildlife and food supply.
I was delighted when the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs introduced the National Pollinator Strategy. However, neonicotinoid pesticides pose a potential new threat to our declining bee population and is an issue that must be taken extremely seriously.
At the debate, I urged DEFRA to give careful consideration to the new evidence about the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on our bees and to do this with balance and consideration for the need to produce food healthily and sustainability.
Please find my speech here:
I am passionate about bees and I have long campaigned for greater protection for these pollinators that are so very vital to our environment, wildlife and food supply. I welcome the fact that the Government has demonstrated an understanding of their importance, most recently through the National Pollinator Strategy.
The outcome of the referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union will not alter the process by which neonicotinoids are authorised. The decisions on the use of these pesticides and many others will still be determined by the recommendations of the Expert Committee on Pesticides, the independent body of scientists that advises the Government. It takes all environmental factors into account, including the effects of using greater quantities of less effective alternative pesticides
This year there have been two separate sets of applications to use neonicotinoids on part of the country's oilseed rape crop, but in each case the Committee advised that the applications did not give sufficient assurances that the uses would be limited to those areas most in danger, nor that they would be controlled appropriately. Accordingly, Defra followed the advice of the Committee and has declined these applications.
Rest assured that restrictions on neonicotinoids will not be removed as long as the evidence shows that they should remain.
Thank you if you have taken the time to contact me about this important issue.