Beekeepers stage protest

Beekeepers gathered in Parliament Square today to urge the Government to support an EU-wide ban on certain pesticides. They were joined by campaigners Vivienne Westwood and Katharine Hamnett.

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Crop Protection Association oppose pesticide ban

Industry body the Crop Protection Association have said there was no new evidence in the today's parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee report to justify banning the pesticides.

Calls for a suspension of neonicotinoid insecticides are a disproportionate reaction to a complex problem and there is no evidence that such a move will lead to any meaningful improvement in bee health.

The reasons that there are declines in some pollinator populations are complicated and not well understood and include factors such as habitat loss, viruses and parasites.

Similarly the call to withdraw the approval of neonicotinoids in gardens and amenity areas is unjustified and not supported by any evidence of harm from their proper use in these areas."

– CPA chief executive Nick von Westenholz

Meanwhile Defra's chief scientific advisor Professor Ian Boyd has said the issue surrounding pesticides and bees was finely balanced and that it would not be proportionate to ban the chemicals at the moment.

He said there was a trade-off between the costs of reduced crop pollination if populations of bees and other pollinators are affected and the costs of reduced yields or environmental problems associated with other pesticides that farmers would use instead.

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