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MEP criticises delay on pesticide ban

A decision to delay a ban on pesticides which could harm bees is reckless, Catherine Bearder MEP has said.


key_beekeepers.pngToday (Friday, March 15) the European Commission held off on a pan-EU ban of neonicotinoids, which are thought to damage bees.

It came as the UK Government said it wanted to wait for results from its own field trials before supporting a ban on the pesticides.

But Catherine, who has campaigned to protect bees, said: "Surely, the most sensible step is to err on the side of caution?

"I understand the Government is wary about the impact of neonicotinoids and wants to check its own test results.

"However, we should be cautious in our approach, especially as there is other evidence to suggest bees do suffer?"

Catherine has written to Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to urge the Government not to stall on the issue.

She last month visited Rowse Honey, in Wallingford, to learn about the UK honey industry and in January urged the UK to pay closer attention to what was sprayed in fields and coated on seeds.

Catherine added: "I hear concerns about the impact of a ban on food production.

"But in my and many of my constituents' opinions bees are too important to our crops and therefore our long term food supply, to take any risk."

The British Beekeepers Association has estimated there are between 40,000 and 50,000 beehives in South East England.

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