Science

Neonicotinoid pesticides will be banned post-Brexit

Neonicotinoid pesticides will be banned post-Brexit”

Gove, who has been in the position since June, revealed the news in an article for the Guardian newspaper.

Further restrictions will be maintained after Britain's departure from the European Union, insisted Gove, as part of his vision for a "Green Brexit".

The British Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced today the Secretary of State has called for stricter rules governing neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides known to be toxic to bees and other pollinators. The weight of evidence now shows the risks neonicotinoids pose to our environment, particularly to the bees and other pollinators which play such a key part in our £100bn food industry, is greater than previously understood.

Despite increased efforts to raise awareness of the declining wild bee population, 49% of bee species continued to dwindle in number between 2009 and 2014, while 29% experienced an increase, according to Defra statistics.

"That is not a risk I am prepared to take, so the United Kingdom will be supporting further restrictions on neonicotinoids".

The move reverses the previous position of the United Kingdom and Defra on neonics, which has previously been against further restrictions, and the NFU, which maintains that scientific evidence is not sufficient to warrant a ban.

But Gove's decision was well received by the scientific community, which had been campaigning for some time against heavy pesticide use, arguing that along with the destruction of habitats and disease, they were severely damaging insect populations. Gove said he was keen to work with farmers to explore alternative approaches to grow crops without neonics as the United Kingdom moves ahead with a new agricultural policy. "They advise that the evidence now supports the restrictions introduced in 2013; indeed, there may also be a case for going further".

Gove has been vocal in support of environmental protection measures since joining Defra, having recently attended an event on soil health, and spoken regularly about his commitment to the environment.

In 2013, the European Commission proposed a ban on three neonicotinoids for use on flowering crops such as oil seed rape, which are attractive to bees, after authorities identified risks to honey bees.

Report monitored from Independent said a total ban on bee-harming pesticides being used across Europe will be supported by the United Kingdom, the Environment Secretary has said.

"Recent field-based experiments have suggested these effects could exist". Friends of the Earth subsequently undertook a further investigation into the work of the 10 largest garden retailers in the United Kingdom, with the campaign group clashing with Homebase for failing to publicly tell their suppliers not to use the toxic chemicals.



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