Neonicotinoid Pesticides

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 1:29 pm on 25th January 2011.

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Photo of Martin Caton Martin Caton Labour, Gower 1:29 pm, 25th January 2011

That is a fair point. It is useful that the president of the British Beekeepers' Association issued a statement just a couple of days ago. Traditionally, that organisation has not been at the forefront of trying to get action taken, but it is now realising how serious the situation is and it is calling for an urgent review. We are all beginning to sing from the same hymn sheet.

The Government asked the chemicals regulation directorate to look at the Buglife report. In a letter to Buglife and the Soil Association, Lord Henley said that the Advisory Committee on Pesticides had conducted a further review. However, earlier this month, someone contacted the ACP to ask for a copy of the report and she was told that the ACP had not conducted a review of the Buglife report and that only the CRD had conducted the review. That same person then asked the CRD for a copy of the review and she was told that it was not quite finished, as the directorate still needed to look at some data.

Even though the review was clearly not completed, Lord Henley felt able to tell Buglife that its report had highlighted a need in the risk assessment process for data on the impact of these pesticides on over-wintering bees and that the matter was being addressed. That was clearly a welcome step. However, he did not respond to the main thrust of that report on environmental damage, nor did he answer the main recommendations that I have just outlined. Buglife and the Soil Association have asked the Minister to supply a copy of the full report from the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, but that could be difficult because the report simply does not exist.