Molly Scott Cato, Bristol's Green MEP, who sits on the European Parliament’s Agriculture committee, has challenged environment secretary Michael Gove to continue an EU ban on neonicotinoid pesticides after Brexit.
The challenge comes as the European Commission announces it intends to further restrict the use of the pesticides and new scientific evidence reveals the damage they do to bee populations. The latest large-scale study across three European countries was designed to assess the impact of the pesticides in the field rather than the laboratory. Molly said:
“I am challenging DEFRA secretary Michael Gove to give a public guarantee that he will continue the EU ban on neonicotinoids after Brexit. This can be the first step towards an Environmental Protection Act which can put into practice his promise to enhance rather than diminish environmental standards after we leave the EU.
“These results from large-scale and scientifically sound field studies should be the final nail in the coffin for neonicotinoids which have decimated the health of our pollinators over recent years. Greens in the European Parliament will continue to push for the ban to be extended to include all uses and to be made permanent.
“The study results are all the more convincing as they were majority funded by the very chemical companies who have long denied that their toxic products have any negative impact on bee populations or the environment.”