[Valerie Vaz in the Chair] — Neonicotinoids on Crops

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:30 pm on 7th December 2015.

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Photo of Ben Howlett Ben Howlett Conservative, Bath 4:30 pm, 7th December 2015

I thank my hon. Friend for his intervention. I have to admit that I am not an expert on this subject. Hopefully, the Minister will answer that question in due course.

Moving on to the rest of my speech, neonics are of great concern to many of our constituents because of how they operate. As I have said, I am not a scientist, but I understand that neonics are rapidly absorbed when sprayed on plants or, more commonly, used to treat seeds to protect plants throughout their lives. As well as disrupting the neurological function of the pests they are meant to target, neonics are also toxic to bees and other pollinators. In 2013, the EU introduced a ban on the use of three types of neonics on crops that are particularly attractive to bees—namely, spring-planted cereals and flowering crops.