Pesticides | August 2016

I have received a number of e-mails about the use of pesticides.
The use of pesticides in the United Kingdom currently allows certain farmers in four English counties to use oilseed rape seeds treated with one of two neonicotinoid pesticides during the summer / autumn planting seasons. The decision to grant the exemption in question was made owing to the elevated risk of crop damage / loss arising from cabbage stem flea beetle infestations in the areas in question. As such, it should not be regarded as a broad relaxation of the general restrictions that apply to the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
I agree that the apparent decline in the size and health of the bee population is a matter of grave concern. However, I also believe that care is required when considering restrictions or prohibitions on the use of a given category of pesticides, not least because the use of such chemicals is one factor that enables civilisation to produce such a large amount of food.
Now that we have voted to leave the European Union and will be considering our own laws relating to the issue and it will be necessary to pay close attention to the scientific research on the subject before any further decision is made. It will also be necessary to conduct further, ongoing, research, and to keep the matter under review, as appropriate.
August 2016

Contact David

Write a message to David online; make an appointment to speak with him in-person, virtually or by telephone; and enquire about arranging a visit to Westminster, including tickets to watch PMQs