To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government has any discretion in the imposition of the EU-level ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in the UK; what assessment the Department has made of the impact of any use of such pesticides on the UK's bee population since the publication of An assessment of key evidence about neonicotinoids and bees, DEFRA, published in March 2013; and if she will make a statement.
Decisions on the approval of pesticide active substances are made at European level. Since December 2013, three of the five currently approved neonicotinoids are not permitted for use on a wide range of crops considered “attractive to bees”. A number of other uses remain permitted under the EU approval. The restrictions currently in place for neonicotinoids are not time-limited.
The European Commission gave an undertaking to commence a review of the science on neonicotinoids by the end of May 2015. This process has now commenced. Companies have provided further studies and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has invited any party to submit relevant data, including published studies, by 30 September 2015.