Pesticides: Neonicotinoids

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 19 October 2023.

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Photo of Abena Oppong-Asare Abena Oppong-Asare Shadow Minister (Women's Health and Mental Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she has made a recent assessment of the implications for her policies of the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinators.

Photo of Abena Oppong-Asare Abena Oppong-Asare Shadow Minister (Women's Health and Mental Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment her Department has made of the (a) environmental and (b) ecological effects of the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

Photo of Abena Oppong-Asare Abena Oppong-Asare Shadow Minister (Women's Health and Mental Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what account her Department took when authorising the use of the neonicotinoid Cruiser SB in (a) 2021 and (b) 2022 of research on the effects of neonicotinoids on (i) bees and (ii) other pollinators.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The EU withdrew approval for the outdoor use of three neonicotinoid pesticides (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) on any crops, including crops such as sugar beet which are harvested prior to flowering, due to the risk of harmful effects on pollinators, in December 2018.

The UK supported this move, and this has not changed. The restrictions on neonicotinoids were justified by the growing weight of scientific evidence that they are harmful to bees and other pollinators. This restriction remains in place.

In considering the applications for use of Cruiser SB on sugar beet in 2021 and 2022, a range of evidence was considered on the impacts of the proposed use of the product on people, pollinators, and the environment. Information on these decisions can be found here.

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