Pesticides: Pollinators

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 27th September 2021.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of House of Lords report stage amendment 53 to the Environment Bill, which would insert a clause on the protection of pollinators from pesticides.

Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of amendment 53 to the Environment Bill at report stage in the House of Lords regarding the diversity of insect life and pollination.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Decisions on pesticide authorisation are based on expert assessment by the Health and Safety Executive. The independent UK Expert Committee on Pesticides advises on novel scientific issues. Current legislation already requires that active substances and pesticide products have “no unacceptable effects on the environment … having particular regard to its impact on non-target species”, which can include impacts on bees and other pollinators.

The scientific risk assessment relies on detailed data requirements and processes, carried across from EU law at the end of the transition period. The Government will ensure that these are updated to keep in step with developments in scientific understanding. Risk assessments made for active substances are already subject to public consultation. These assessments establish the key risks posed by pesticide substances in representative conditions of use.

Protecting pollinators is a priority. The National Pollinator Strategy, developed and updated alongside many partners following thorough scientific review, identifies pressures on pollinators on which we are acting, including potential harm from pesticide use, habitat loss and fragmentation, and invasive species.

We continue making decisions on pesticides use based on scientific risk assessments, while aiming to achieve high levels of protection for people, wildlife, and the environment.

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