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UK neonicotinoid field trials slammed

UK field trials into the effects of neonicotinoids on bee health are flawed, according to European Food Safety Agency (Efsa).
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Efsa said it had identified ‘several weaknesses’ in the study which suggested neonicotinoid pesticides do not have a major effect on be colonies under field conditions.

 

Last month, three neonicotinoids – thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid – were suspended from use across the EU in a move which will come into force from December 1.

 

The agency criticised the trials for only looking at one crop – oilseed rape – and said the test sites only reflected a small sample of UK agricultural conditions.

 

Efsa said two important routes of exposure – dust and guttation – were also not addressed by the study.

Criticised

SNP member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee Alyn Smith, who supported a partial ban on the three pesticides, criticised Westminster which he said chose to ‘line up with the chemical companies’.

 

He said: “The UK field trials were held up by the UK Government as a genuine attempt to lead evidence-based policy but have been comprehensively exposed by Efsa as more an attempt to make the science fit political narrative.

 

“Serious questions need to be asked about the production of this UK report, which was held up as if written on tablets of stone, but Efsa has so comprehensively rubbished it it seems more suited to the bin than any serious scientific discussion.”

 

Mr Smith said even the most ‘hidebound lobbyist would dispute the fact neonicotinoids have a case to answer’.

 


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Decline of pollinators regarded as a serious issue in Wales

IN Wales, NFU Cymru has told the Welsh Government pollinators are an important part of the farming industry and their decline is regarded as a serious issue.

 

The statement came in its response to a public consultation on the Welsh Government’s Draft Action Plan for Pollinators in Wales.

 

Perkin Evans, the union’s combinable crops and horticulture board chairman, said, however, it was wrong to suggest intensive agriculture was to blame.

 

He added: “It is widely acknowledged there are many factors challenging the health of pollinators and we would argue that the final Welsh Government strategy needs to give greater emphasis to disease prevention and climate change.”

 

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