The world’s most widely used insecticides could be banned for use on all field crops [in 2017], if proposals are approved by EU member states.
It follows a risk assessment by the European Food Safety Authority, which suggested the insecticides pose ‘high acute risks’ to bees.
This proceeds a partial temporary ban in 2013, which restricted farmers from using neonicotinoids on flowering crops, costing the industry about £500 million according to an EU report.
An extended ban, which would see the use of neonicotinoids forbidden on non-flowering crops, including cereals and sugar beet, is expected to heighten the risk of viral diseases, such as barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) and virus yellows. Inevitably, this will lead to greater use of insecticide sprays, experts have warned.
NFU vice-president and Essex arable farmer Guy Smith told Farmers Guardian an extended ban would have ‘serious consequences’, affecting farmers’ ability to grow food sustainably.
“With no restrictions of this kind anywhere else in the world, farmers would be put at an extreme competitive disadvantage without the use of neonicotinoids,” he said.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Neonicotinoids: What an extended ban could mean for UK growers