UK farming minister says neonicotinoid ban has boosted pesticide use

Seed treating x
Neonicotinoid seed treatment. Credit: Crop Production Magazine
[UK] Farming Minister George Eustice has admitted the recent ban on neonicotinoids has actually increased overall pesticide use. Mr Eustice made the remarks at the [National Farmers’ Union’s] first conference on the farmed environment in London [December 11].

The UK Government’s decision to back planned EU restrictions on neonicotinoids was instrumental in getting the ban through in April this year. Ministers were repeatedly warned at the time that such restrictions would lead to greater use of other pesticides such as pyrethroids, and in August, a top insect specialist questioned the usefulness of the ban.

Mr Eustice said: “…. Sometimes you can get unintended consequences by withdrawing certain products …. having lost neonicotinoids to use on things like oilseed rape, we are seeing an increased use of foliar sprays.

Related article:  Viewpoint: The dreaded 'green blob' is the most dire threat to bees

The Minister went on to say he would rather see farmers encouraged to use pesticides more carefully and judiciously than for blanket bans to be introduced. He pointed out this was the approach put forward in the 25-Year Environment Plan, which focused heavily on Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Read full, original article: Farming Minister admits neonics ban has increased pesticide use

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