Keith Taylor MEP cautiously welcomes Michael Gove’s support for EU ban on bee-killing insecticide

Responding to Michael Gove’s new-found support for the EU’s ban on neonicotinoids, Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East and a member of the European Parliament’s Environment and Public Health Committee, said:

“Greens have been calling on the Government to back the EU ban on bee-killing insecticides for years. In July, when the industry’s own studies confirmed the scientific consensus that neonicotinoids are harmful to our valuable pollinators we called again on Gove to drop the UK’s opposition to the ban. It’s welcome news that he has finally looked at the evidence and heeded our call.”

“But, and there’s a big but, we must be very wary of the loopholes in the legislation, which the Defra Secretary has promised to maintain post-Brexit. Gove has already confirmed that the government will still seek to allow agribusinesses to bypass the ban with so-called ’emergency’ authorisations. We need much more information on what criteria will be used to determine these ’emergencies’ – especially when the very real emergency is the dramatic decline in the population of our precious bees” 

“Greens will now keep the pressure on the UK Government to drop its support for the biodiversity and soil-destructive, let alone ‘probably carcinogenic for humans‘, toxic weedkiller glyphosate which the EU has just refused to renew for another five years – despite the UK’s continued lobbying and support.”