Uk to back ban on bee killing pesticide after disappearance of 75 % of flying insects in Germany
Michael Gove has come out in support of a ban on a pesticide known as neonicotinoids, bringing the government’s views more in line with the EU.
Michael Gove had originally opposed EU plans on a total ban, but fears over the disappearance of flying insects in Germany over the past 25 years, particularly bees, is the reason for his new stance.
He said:“Like many others, I was deeply concerned by a recently published German study into the health of some insect populations.”
The Study in question published by Public Library of Science says that the flying insect population has been decimated and that the drop in insect biomass was alarming.
Further concerns in the paper are raised over the fact the areas where insect population was observed where in protected areas meant to preserve the ecosystem.
Gove also mentioned concerns over how declining bees will affect the UK food industry: “The weight of evidence now shows the risks neonicotinoids pose to our environment, particularly to the bees and other pollinators which play such a key part in our £100bn food industry, is greater than previously understood”.
A report by the Department for Environmental Food and Rural Affairs in 2014 previously reported the values of insect pollicisation to be worth £430 million, 8 % of the total market value of crops at the time.
The change in government position has been welcomed by green activists, but Professor Dave Gouson raises concerns over over farmers moving to use more harmful pesticides.
He said:“It is great to see the Government responding to the weight of evidence linking neonicotinoids to declines of wild insects such as bees and butterflies. However, if the pesticide industry simply replaces neonicotinoids with some new generation of pesticides we will not have made progress, but will simply be repeating mistakes we have made over and over again for 70 years.”