Thank you to those who contacted me about the government’s decision to authorise the use of neonicotinoids.
I share your concerns about the government’s decision, as there is not a sufficient justification for the use of neonicotinoids. We know that it is widely recognised that the pesticide kills bees.
The protection of bees is non-negotiable. Not only are bees critical to the existence of ecosystems, but they are also integral to sustaining food security. Bees pollinate around 70% of the fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds we eat.
I fully agree that there needs to be an alternative solution. I recognise sugar beet farmers’ genuine concerns, but the solution to their crop issues should not damage bees and the surrounding biodiversity. The government should back farmers to help create a sustainable solution, which provides better support for the sector, accelerates the introduction of blight-resistant crops and includes allowances for crop loss in next year’s sugar contracts.
I spoke in the Environment Bill Report Stage debate in support of Amendment 39, which would enable Parliament to scrutinise government decisions to grant exemptions for the use of banned pesticides. You can watch my full speech here. Unfortunately, the government voted against the amendment and now the Bill has been delayed several months until the next session of Parliament. The government is not confronting the climate and ecological crisis that we are facing with the urgency needed.
I can assure you that I will continue supporting protections for bees, wildlife and our environment. Thank you once again for contacting me about this important issue.