EU proposes action on pesticides linked to bee decline
31 January 2013
Commenting on proposals unveiled today (Thursday 31 January 2013) by the European Commission for restrictions on neonicotinoid chemicals linked to bee decline, Friends of the Earth's Head of Campaigns Andrew Pendleton said:
"This hugely significant EU proposal promises a first, important step on the road to turning around the decline on our bees. The UK Government must throw its weight behind it.
"The evidence linking neonicotinoid chemicals to declining bee populations is growing. We can't afford to ignore the threat they pose to these crucial pollinators.
"It is time to put farmers and nature before pesticide company profits. Ministers must act quickly to support safe and effective alternatives to chemical insecticides - and bring these forward as part of a National Bee Action Plan."
Earlier this week Friends of the Earth revealed that three leading UK retailers are removing products containing neonicotioid chemicals from their shelves.
Notes to editors:
1. Top retailers act on pesticides linked to bee decline.
2. Earlier this month the European Food Safety Authority identified a number of risks posed to honey bees by three neonicotinoid insecticides: clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.
3. Friends of the Earth research, published last year, found it would cost the UK at least an extra £1.8billion every year to hand-pollinate crops without bees. To read a briefing on the report, visit here. To read the full report visit here.
4. In a report for Friends of the Earth bee experts at the University of Reading warned that pesticide use had risen by 6.5% between 2005 and 2010 and that more insecticide treatments tend to be applied to bee pollinated crops.
5. 125 MPs joined Friends of the Earth campaigners in Westminster earlier this month to show their support for action to reverse dwindling bee numbers.
6. In its evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee Defra outlined several options for non chemical control of the pests that damage Oil Seed Rape.
7. Research by scientists and farmers has shown that a combination of changes to crop rotations, the use of new technology to monitor pest threat, and bio-pesticide products can significantly cut insecticide use on oilseed rape without loss of yield. For more information please visit here and here.
8. . Friends of the Earth's The Bee Cause campaign is supporting individuals to make change in their gardens and communities to help bees, and asking the Prime Minister to commit to a National Bee Action Plan. To support the call to David Cameron and find out what else you can do to help bees, visit The Bee Cause webpage www.foe.co.uk/bees
If you're a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.
Published by Friends of the Earth Trust
Last modified: Jan 2013