Petition: Stop using EU banned bee-killing pesticide in UK
Environment secretary George Eustice has agreed to the use of a product containing the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam to treat certain crops this year in an effort to protect it from a virus.
Setting out conditions for the “limited and controlled” use of the pesticide, officials said the minister had agreed an emergency authorisation of it for up to 120 days after British Sugar and the National Farmers Union had lobbied the government.
But the Wildlife Trusts said neonicotinoids pose a significant environmental risk, particularly to bees and other pollinators.
Taking to Twitter, they said: “Bad news for bees: The Government has bowed to pressure from the National Farmers Union to agree the use of a highly damaging pesticide.
“The government know the clear harm that neonicotinoid pesticides cause to bees and other pollinators and just three years ago supported restrictions on them across the European Union.
“Insects perform vital roles such as pollination of crops and wildflowers, and nutrient recycling, but so many have suffered drastic declines.” ■