More than three-quarters of the British public want to see the UK Government ban neonicotinoids on all crops, according to new research from Friends of the Earth.
Only five per cent of the 1,716 respondents to the study opposed an extended ban, with 18 per cent giving a ’do not know’ answer.
Participants were asked: "There is currently an EU-wide ban on the use of three pesticides (known as neonicotinoids) on some crops because of their threat to bees. Proposals have been made to extend the ban of these pesticides to all crops. Do you think the UK Government should support or oppose extending the ban on these pesticides?"
Friends of the Earth chief executive Craig Bennett said: "The UK public are firmly in favour of extending the current ban on bee-harming pesticides to all crops.
"With overwhelming scientific evidence of the threat neonicotinoids post to Britain’s bees, [Defra Secretary] Michael Gove must commit the UK to supporting a total ban.
"Farmers up and down the country are already successfully producing crops without neonicotinoids. The Government and NFU must do more to help farmers switch to less damaging alternatives."
The Friends of the Earth research came as a separate study, commissioned by Bayer, showed just 12 per cent of arable growers thought the loss of neonicotinoids would have no impact on their cereal crops.
72 per cent of farmers feared the environment would suffer as a result of the ban, and 82 per cent would use more foliar sprays if neonicotinoids were lost.
Mike Abram, communications manager at Bayer, said: "A Bayer survey of over 10,000 consumers worldwide, including 1,000 from the UK, showed 93 per cent believed innovation helps to grow more food.
"Innovations, such as neonicotinoids, have undoubtedly helped UK farmers put safe, affordable food on the table, and this scientifically unjustified extension on their non-use will only result in that becoming harder for growers, as has already been proven in oilseed rape.
"If Michael Gove is interested in supporting the future of UK agriculture, both now and post-Brexit, while maintaining the UK’s centre of excellence for innovation, he should continue to follow the scientific evidence and vote to reject this proposal."