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Nature   The third anniversary of the "partial ban"

Green groups call for extension of neonicotinoid ban

BeeSeventeen of the UK’s top wildlife, conservation and environment groups have urged the UK government to uphold EU restrictions on neonicotinoid insecticides.

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READ MORE European watchdog delays neonicotinoid review

The letter was timed to mark the third anniversary of the EU Commission’s "partial ban" on neonicotinoids, which was initially put in place for two years, and is now up for review.

Signed by Friends of the Earth, RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts, Buglife and the Soil Association amongst others, it has been supported by a number of independent scientists, who say there is enough evidence that the chemicals threaten pollinators and other wildlife to merit a continuation of the ban.

Signatories to the letter want the current EU restrictions on neonicotinoid insecticides to be retained, and extended to all crops.

“It is clear that there is now more than enough evidence to retain the ban and extend it to all crops, and that this is essential to reverse the decline of bees and other pollinators.

“Since 2013 many more independent laboratory and field studies have found neonics impairing the ability of different bee species to feed, navigate and reproduce resulting in declining populations. The government says it will not hesitate to act on evidence of harm.

“The third anniversary of the neonics restrictions is Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom’s chance to catch up with scientific evidence and public opinion by keeping and extending the ban as part of properly protecting Britain’s bees and pollinating insects.”

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