Neonicotinoid controls tightened
In a bad day for the agochemical industry, it was also announced that tougher restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides were to be backed by the UK government.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said that such an approach was justified by the growing weight of scientific evidence indicating they were harmful to bees and other pollinators
Setting out the UK’S position, while promising a “Green Brexit”, he added: “Unless the scientific evidence changes, the govern- ment will maintain these increased restrictions post-brexit.”
He said that move followed advice from the UK government’s advisory body on pesticides indicating that scientific evidence now suggested the environmental risks posed by neonicotinoids – particularly to bees and pollinators – were greater than previously understood, supporting the case for further restrictions.
The tougher restrictions were supported by Scottish rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing who said: “The Scottish Government is aware of the evidence about the impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on pollinators and supports Europe’s precautionary approach and the continuation of the current restrictions on their use”.
Andrew Bauer, NFU Scotland’s deputy director of policy, said the union had noted the move in the longrunning saga – and would seek further information from DEFRA in the coming days. “What is key for the farming community now is that we have clarity for the future and that no matter the outcome or decision that our members have access to safe and effective plant protective products which are vital to the industry,” said Bauer.