Daily List 145
Tuesday 29 July 2014
National pollinator strategy: second report of session 2014-15: report, together with formal minutes relating to the report.
House of Commons papers (2014-15) - 213.
- Corporate Author:
- Environmental Audit Committee
- Joan Walley (chairman)
When it comes to research on pesticides, Defra is content to let the manufacturers fund the work. If the research is to command public confidence, independent controls need to be maintained at every step. The Committee examined the draft National Pollinator Strategy released for consultation in March 2014. It incorporates a programme of research to address the 'patchy' evidence picture on what affects pollinator numbers. It is pleasing to see that the Strategy encourages the public to get involved. In their response to the Committee's 2013 Pollinators and Pesticides report, the Government stated that the evidence picture on what affects pollinators was not clear. The Committee concluded in 2013 that existing evidence was of sufficient concern to warrant a ban on three neonicotinoid pesticides. The Government disagreed, but the ban was adopted by the EU. Defra should use the final National Pollinator Strategy to draw a line under the European neonicotinoid ban. It should make clear that it now accepts the ban and will not seek to overturn it when the European Commission conducts a review next year. Government should also make clear that no applications for emergency use of pesticides, such as that made by Syngenta, will be accepted. The Committee had recommended that the Government use CAP reform to introduce incentives for pollinator-friendly actions. The way the CAP schemes have been rolled out in England, however, means that this opportunity has not been fully grasped. The Government should ensure that pollinators are the focus of the upcoming European Commission review of the CAP measures.