EU votes to extend their ban on neonicotinoid pesticides
27 April 2018
Today, 27 April, the EU Member States voted in favour of extending their ban of neonicotinoid pesticides. In a move that means good news for our vital pollinators, neonicotinoids will be banned on all outdoor crops.
Peter Melchett, Soil Association Policy Director, responded to the decision:
“The clear evidence of neonicotinoids’ harm to pollinators, and to wildlife in general, has been mounting for some time. Almost all of the toxic neonicotinoid spray gets into the soil rather than the crop, and from there to wild flowers and hedges around the edges of fields. Bees and other insects prefer feeding on wildflowers, which neonicotinoids can turn into deadly toxic traps. Today’s vote by EU member states, to extend their ban of neonicotinoids to include all outdoor crops, is a welcome demonstration that this overwhelming evidence can no longer be ignored.
“In recent comments Michael Gove has been firm in his resolve to support tougher restrictions on neonicotinoids, and we also welcome his pledge to reward environmentally-friendly farming practices in post-Brexit agricultural policy. We now urge the Government to consider the bigger picture. The current model of farming, based on a limited number of crops sprayed with a rapidly increasing number of toxic ingredients , is causing devastating harm to the environment and to the wildlife that depends on it. Banning neonicotinoids is a positive step but it will not solve the wider problem if they are simply replaced with another pesticide. We need to move towards alternative systems of farming, such as organic, to find environmentally-sensitive ways of producing food while reversing the recent terrifying collapse in insect populations.”