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Neonicotinoid Use

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 Jmacquarrie 10 Jan 2021

The government has approved the use of neonicotinoids which are know to kill bees. Banned under EU rules it's taken less than a fortnight for this to be changed.

Personally I'm furious with this decision, absolutely ridiculous to be using pesticides we know damages one of the most important pollinators. Incredibly shortsighted to boot.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/bees-kill-pesticide-insect-sugar-neonic-b1784693.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/01/08/bee-killing-pesticide-banned-eu-approved-government/

In reply to Jmacquarrie:

> The government has approved the use of neonicotinoids which are know to kill bees. Banned under EU rules it's taken less than a fortnight for this to be changed.

> Personally I'm furious with this decision, absolutely ridiculous to be using pesticides we know damages one of the most important pollinators. Incredibly shortsighted to boot.

#Brexit assures a bonfire of environmental rights. Employment rights are also in target as Daniel Hannon has alluded to: 

"Then there are the regulatory barriers – everything from planning restrictions that inflate the cost of housing to staff ratio rules that give us the most expensive childcare in Europe. I could fill a longer article than this one simply by listing them. Consider, as just one subsection, the EU laws we can now disapply: the Temporary Workers’ Directive, the REACH Directive, the End of Life Vehicles Directive, the droit de suite rules and other regulations that hurt London’s fine arts market, the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, chunks of MiFID II, GDPR, the bans on GM." 

https://www.conservativehome.com/thecolumnists/2021/01/daniel-hannan-covid-has-left-britain-utterly-skint-its-time-use-our-post-eu-freedom-and-grow-ourselves-out-of-this-mess.html

In reply to Jmacquarrie:

I have serious concerns too, however..... to be balanced about the decision, worth considering a few facts. 

The license has been granted only for pre-planting seed treatment of sugar beet - a non flowering crop so minimal risk to bees and minimal likelihood of spread - and only if strict precautions are taken to stop flowering plants growing alongside the crop or in following years. 

The license only kicks in of there is a serious risk of virus disease (spread by greenfly) confirmed by independent experts. (It has caused losses of over 80% of the crop in recent years). 

The license is only available temporarily while long term measures (breeding resistant plants, biocontrol measures) are developed. Expected to be 2-3 years.

The license only applies to crops in a small geographical area within a few miles of the 4 sugar processing plants in the UK. 

Without the use of neonics there is no current alternative and most of the farmers will just grow something else instead of risking the 80% loss. This seems reasonable, except that the UK demand for sugar will then have to be filled from abroad where the neonics will be used anyway (including in EU countries that already have similar licenses in place - so blaming this on Brexit seems unfounded). 

https://www.fwi.co.uk/arable/france-to-lift-neonics-ban-to-save-beet-industry

 Jmacquarrie 10 Jan 2021
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

Thanks that's a good and comprehensive reply.

I'm aware of the points you raise but I disagree the benefit outweighs the damage. Use of neonicotinoids as a seed dressing has been linked to contamination of hedgerows and wildflowers. 

The fact this was pushed by the NFU just as we were leaving the EU doesn't fill me with confidence that the strict conditions for use will not be diluted down in the future.

As an aside does the fact that the UK has agreed this exemption outside the EU mean that the sugar produced (and anything that uses it) be banned from import into the EU? I don't know the answer to that and can't seem to find anything concrete after a bit of searching but the information might be out there.

Edit: I'll admit my initial post could have been better written to be more factual and less emotive. I still stand by my feeling very unhappy at this decision.

Post edited at 17:29
 Bob Kemp 10 Jan 2021
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

What are the risks from aquatic pollution- for people and aquatic insects?

 Yanis Nayu 10 Jan 2021
In reply to Jmacquarrie:

Somebody either in the Tory party or a donor obviously stands to make a lot of money out of it. 

 deepsoup 10 Jan 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Somebody either in the Tory party or a donor obviously stands to make a lot of money out of it. 

Good lord no, that would be corrupt.

By a funny coincidence though there's just the one processor for sugar beet in the UK with a complete monopoly on sugar produced here, British Sugar PLC.  Their managing director is Paul Kenward.  His wife is Victoria Atkins, and she just happens to be a Tory MP and a junior minister at the Home Office.

She's the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Safeguarding.  Not bees, presumably.

Post edited at 21:25
 JefB 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Jmacquarrie:

I am sure this is just the start. Don't bank on any employment rights down the line.

 nikoid 12 Jan 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

I think I'll only buy Tate and Lyle from now on. It has less sulphur dioxide in it as well.

Edit Sulphur was spelt the American way. Can't have that can we.

Post edited at 11:31
 deepsoup 12 Jan 2021
 nikoid 12 Jan 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

OK I'll just have to make do with honey. Oh hang on a minute....

 Clint86 12 Jan 2021
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

For bees, I'm thinking we should read 'all insects' shouldn't we. Also, thin end of the wedge comes to mind........and perhaps we could use it as a good time to cut back on the amount of sugar we use....empty calories and all that. 

 geode 12 Jan 2021
In reply to Jmacquarrie:

> I still stand by my feeling very unhappy at this decision.

me too. i remember UK being very reluctant to ban neonics in the early days- despite growing evidence that had convinced other countries -  i trust the EU above UK Cons when it comes to protecting our environment.

Greta also mentioned the new coal mine approval in Cumbria ('red-wall' seat) which also has its nuances-maybe a separate thread..https://www.ft.com/content/5b04e813-6bdb-476a-9f4a-137432a7b314


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