To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the timetable is for her Department's assessment of applications for emergency authorisation of neonicotinoid seed treatments; and whether she plans to remove restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids.
The timetable for assessing an application for emergency authorisation varies from case to case. It needs to enable expert scientific assessment and a decision to be made against the legal criteria in time for any authorisation to be of value to users.
Two recent applications for emergency authorisation of neonicotinoids as seed treatments for oilseed rape were turned down on 12 May following expert advice that they did not meet the criteria for authorisation.
The UK has fully implemented restrictions on the use of three neonicotinoids. UK experts are contributing to a review of the risks to pollinators from neonicotinoids being led by the European Food Safety Authority, which is due to complete by January 2017. The European Commission will then consider whether to propose changes to the current restrictions.