Norfolk Wildlife Trust is alarmed to learn the Government has agreed the use of a highly damaging pesticide - neonicotinoid thiamethoxam - for the treatment of sugar beet seed in response to beet yellows virus.
Neonicotinoids are banned across Europe over concerns that they kill bees and other pollinators. In 2017, the UK Government supported restrictions on the neonicotinoid pesticides across the European Union. The Environment Secretary at the time, Michael Gove, gave a commitment to maintain these restrictions post-Brexit unless the scientific evidence changed.
Norfolk Wildlife Trust considers there needs to be a significant reduction in the use of pesticides, particularly insecticides with this level of effect.
Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Pamela Abbott said: “The evidence of the devastating impact this group of pesticides is having on our wildlife is growing, as is public awareness of the associated ecological crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people came together across Britain over the last decade to call for better protection of our bee populations, and for these highly toxic pesticides to be banned.
“To reverse the decline of insects and allow them to thrive once more, we urgently need to reduce the use of pesticides and start to build a nature recovery network by creating more and better connected, insect-friendly habitat.
“We need urgent action to restore the abundance of our insect populations and this is an alarming move which will destroy the species we all depend on for the health of our natural world.”
Insects perform vital roles such as pollination of crops and wildflowers, and nutrient recycling, but so many have suffered drastic declines. Evidence suggests a loss of at least 50% of insects since 1970, and 41% of all insect species are now 'threatened with extinction'.
Norfolk Wildlife Trust will continue highlighting the ecological impact, centred around our Action For Insects