[Valerie Vaz in the Chair] — Neonicotinoids on Crops

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:33 pm on 7th December 2015.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Transport) 5:33 pm, 7th December 2015

My hon. Friend is exactly right. We should take the most cautious approach we can in looking after not only bees, but other pollinators. The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates that nearly

10% of bee species are under threat. The intensification of agriculture and seasonal crops have reduced food for bees, creating an ongoing problem.

Neonicotinoids are thought to transfer chemicals through crop growth to various pollinators. Protection for bees, and encouragement for a friendly environment, should be something we are all concerned about. However, the Government caused outrage in July, when they lifted the EU ban for 120 days. They now say they will follow the best advice. The background is that there are concerns about the efficiency of DEFRA-funded trials. That message is too weak to allay citizens’ concerns about bees.