Nick von Westenholz, CEO of the Crop Protection Association said: "We are disappointed with some of the recommendations relating to pesticides in the Environmental Audit Committee's report on the National Pollinator Strategy, particularly their recommendation that the government should now accept the European Commission's moratorium on three neonicotinoid insecticides. The government's own expert technical agency, the Chemicals Regulation Directorate, has recently stated that there is no further evidence that changes the government's position that neonicotinoids are safe for use in the environment.
"Independent experts have continually advised government on the safety of neonicotinoid pesticides which are a key tool in UK food production. It is this scientific advice upon which the government has rightly resisted many of the calls for a permanent ban from campaign groups who are committed to undermining this technology. It is vital that any decisions government takes regarding pesticides are based on sound science and the expert technical advice of the regulator rather than emotive public campaigns.
"Pesticides are but one of a range of multiple factors, including habitat loss, disease and climate change, that may put adverse pressure on pollinators. We believe the final Strategy should explicitly acknowledge that pesticides are a vital resource for food production and are highly regulated. Any additional actions and activities aimed at minimising the risk to pollinators from pesticide use must be balanced and proportionate."