Neon­i­coti­noid con­trols tight­ened

The Scotsman - - Weather - By BRIAN HEN­DER­SON bhen­der­son@farm­

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.

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