[Valerie Vaz in the Chair] — Neonicotinoids on Crops

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

Alert me about debates like this

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

Yes, I have seen that report, and I agree with my hon. Friend about its findings.

The Government have frequently and rightly stated that they will base their future policies on scientific evidence. They admirably said that decisions need to be ruled by science, but if they are committed to that, then proper data must be collected from the crop areas that have been granted permission to use neonics. Because neonics are absorbed so well by plants, residues are found on the pollen and nectar, which consequently affects pollinators. Evidence about the effect of such residues is crucial for future conservation work, so I encourage the Government to consider using approved plots to help to shape future decisions.

The high number of signatures on the petition shows how concerned the public are about the harm that neonics cause to bees and other pollinators. I urge the Government to gather more scientific evidence from the EU’s research and from sites that currently use the banned neonics. I also urge them to consider other types of neonics that are currently authorised but may have a detrimental effect. Since 1990, the UK has lost about 20 species of bees. We cannot afford to keep losing those crucial pollinators.