Comment: Soil Association warmly welcomes the conclusions of the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry: ‘Insects and Insecticides’
05 April 2013
Commenting on the release of the report from the all-party Environmental Audit Committee ‘Insects and Insecticides’ released today, Emma Hockridge, Soil Association Head of Policy said:
“This report is another nail in the coffin of the Government’s position not to support the ban on neonicotinoid pesticides. We strongly welcome the fact this unanimous report calls on Defra to introduce a moratorium on the use of the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, and that it should support such a proposal in the EU.
“First, European expert scientific advisors have called for a moratorium, then the European Commission, and now this all-party House of Commons committee. Surely Defra Secretary of State Owen Patterson must now realise that he can’t be right and all these experts wrong? It is time he stood up for the bees not the chemical companies.
“In reaching its conclusions, the committee highlighted a point the Soil Association made in giving evidence to the inquiry - the positive experience of Italian farmers when certain neonicotinoids were banned:
“After the restrictions on neonicotinoids came in, detailed studies on the yield were carried out and found that overall there was no negative effect. Even in terms of the affected maize plants, they found that only 10% were affected by any of the major soil dwelling pests. There was no overall impact on production levels and less than 3% of sample fields were affected. .
“We also welcome the recognition within the report that there needs to be a reform of the entire system of approving pesticides in the EU and that there needs to be greater transparency regarding safety data from companies producing pesticides.”
Pollinators and Pesticides report (formerly the Insects and Insecticides inquiry)
Soil Association written evidence to the inquiry