[Valerie Vaz in the Chair] — Neonicotinoids on Crops

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:50 pm on 7th December 2015.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Transport) 4:50 pm, 7th December 2015

Stewardship schemes have always been important in rural areas. I strongly support them and, as someone who believes in intervention, I will continue to do so.

New research suggests that neonicotinoids might be damaging food production. There is some evidence that apples pollinated by bumblebees exposed to neonics are of a lower quality to those pollinated by neonic-free bumblebees. Although I sympathise with and understand the concerns of farmers who argue that they need such chemicals to grow their crops, it is worth bearing in mind that, given the rate at which bee colonies are collapsing, before long many existing crops will be at risk unless farmers take the very expensive action of pollinating their crops themselves—a service currently provided free of charge by bees across the country.