The NFU applied for use of two neonicotinoid pesticides on oilseed rape crops which were restricted in 2013 under the reason that they have effects to bee health. The NFU have applied for the past three consecutive years to use these pesticides for emergency use. The NFU applied for 67,760ha of OSR split between Syngenta’s Cruiser and Bayer’s Modesto in February. This application was in light of the heightened flea beetle problem.
Advisors on the government’s Expert Committee on Pesticide (ECP) have recommended that the NFU’s request is refused, however, the final decision is in the hands of the Defra ministers. The ECP made their decision by drawing conclusion that there was weak assurance that the neonic would be used in areas where there is moderate pest pressure, as well as concerns for the advisors responsible in managing the products and the high environmental risks.
ECP advisors noted that the NFU recommended a targeted derogation for areas with a moderate pesticide problem, however, these areas had no known resistance to pyrethroids. This suggests there may be a reasonable alternative method of controlling pests. In 2015, the NFU put forth a similar application which was granted on the understanding that there would be development of more targeted pesticide use, however, this development has not been progressed.
Friends of the Earth campaigner Sandra Bell said, “Once again the NFU’s attempt to bring banned bee harming pesticides back into our fields has been shown to be flawed. It’s good that ministers have followed the advice of their expert committee and rejected this application.”
This is a positive turn for farmers across the UK as they join to support environmentally friendly methods to protect their crops. Considering the NFU’s continual application for neonic, farmers are responsible to help support finding bee friendly products that are effective in controlling pests but without harming essential pollinators and beneficial insects.
Read the original article here: http://www.farming.co.uk/news/article/13528