You are viewing 1 of your 2 free articles

You’ll need to join us by becoming a member to gain more access.
Already a Member?

Login Join us now

Calls for neonicotinoid ban to be extended to wheat to save the country's bees

Don't Miss

Friends of the Earth have backed the pledge of eighteen wildlife and environmental groups for a complete ban on neonicotinoids to be extended to wheat. 

Twitter Facebook
Share This

Neonicotinoid ban must be extended to wheat to save bees, says Friends of the Earth report

Save our bees! Ban neonicotinoid use on wheat.

A new Friends of the Earth report published today (Thursday January 5) at the Oxford Real Farming Conference warned the pesticide must be wiped of its use on wheat and follow in the footsteps of other banned neonicotinoid pesticides due to their ‘high acute risk’ to bees.


The report found the use of clothianidin, a type of neonicotinoid used as a seed coating on wheat, often leaches into soils and water that further harms plants and flowers where bees feed.


Nature Campaigner Sandra Bell said: “There is increasing scientific evidence that the use of neonicotinoids on wheat poses a threat to our bees, birds and butterflies – current restrictions on these pesticides must be extended to cover this crop.


“We cannot afford to gamble with nature in this way if we are to carry on producing British food and safeguarding the health of our countryside.”


Speaking in a seminar at the ORFC, farmers including John Pawsey of Organic Arable and Nuffield Scholar David Walston, highlighted their success of using alternative solutions to the use of neonics and their mission to reduce overall pesticide use.


More control

The campaign group has called for the chemical, which in 2014 was used on more than 700,000 ha (1,729,737 acres) of wheat in the UK, exceeding the total area of oilseed rape for that year - a crop which is capped by the restriction – to be controlled in confidence as the UK faces leaving the EU.


Secretary of State Andrea Leadsom has been encouraged by the group to support farmers to make better efforts to cut pesticide use, with pushes to the UK government to make a commitment to continue and increase neonicotinoid restrictions no matter what the outcome of the country’s relationship with the EU.


Ms Bell said there was evidence neonicotinoids also had a much wider impact in farming, including effects on earthworms and natural predators that farmers are increasingly reliant upon for pest control.


Serious consequences

But NFU vice president Guy Smith slammed these claims and said there remained no proof that neonicotinoids were responsible for widespread declines in bee and pollinator populations.


He said: “Friends of the Earth’s latest idea to limit the use of neonicotinoids on wheat is not justified by the available scientific evidence and could have serious consequences for farmers’ ability to grow food sustainably.


"With no restrictions of this kind anywhere else in the world farmers would be put at an extreme competitive disadvantage without the use of neonicotinoids on wheat."

Twitter Facebook
Rating (0 vote/s)
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

More News

'It offends sheep producers' - AHDB must do more to promote British lamb

NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe has challenged AHDB to come before the union and explain what it has achieved for levy payers over the last two years.

BYDV threat to spring barley

With the risk of Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) in winter cereals nearly over, attention turns to spring cereals and the warm start to 2017 has encouraged early migration of aphids, especially in the North and West.

Growers urged not to panic during frosts and freezing temperatures

A switch to freezing temperatures has come as a worry to growers and agronomists.

Dog shot dead by farmer as police issue warning after sheep attack - two arrested

Police in Scotland are warning dog owners and people walking dogs in the countryside to keep their animals under control.

Apprentice farm worker avoids jail after kicking cow in face and stamping on new-born calf

A teenager has been banned from keeping and working with livestock for two years after kicking and stamping on cow and calf.
FG Insight and FGInsight.com are trademarks of Briefing Media Ltd.
Farmers Guardian and FarmersGuardian.com are trademarks of Farmers Guardian Ltd, a subsidiary of Briefing Media Ltd.
All material published on FGInsight.com and FarmersGuardian.com is copyrighted © 2016 by Briefing Media Limited. All rights reserved.
RSS news feeds