Justin Tomlinson MP has welcomed a major announcement by the Environment Secretary Michael Gove that the Government is to ban neonicotinoid pesticides.
Justin is a passionate and active campaigner both locally & in Parliament for stronger protections for wildlife and our natural environment.
During his time as the Member of Parliament for North Swindon, he has received hundreds of emails from fellow local residents calling on the Government to ban the use of neonicotinoids, a pesticide used in crop production. These pesticides harm bees and have significantly reduced the pollinator population in recent years.
He has consistently raised these concerns directly with Ministers (as far back as 2013 – http://www.justintomlinson.com/news/2889-swindon-mp-creates-a-buzz-around-bee-decline).
Food producers have to ensure that the things they grow are safe and free from harmful. However initial evidence from Friends of the Earth confirmed that while they were tackling insects which are harmful to crops, these neonicotinoids were also killing bees and affecting the vital pollination of plants & crops across the country.
As a result, Ministers have previously ordered temporary restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids. But the weight of evidence now shows the risks this pesticide poses to our environment, particularly to the bees and other pollinators which play such a key part in our £100bn food industry, is greater than previously understood.
The Environment Secretary has therefore announced that the Government will ban the use of neonicotinoids, saying: “Two principles guide this Government’s approach to the natural world. We want not just to protect but to enhance the environment. And we want our decisions to be informed at all times by rigorous scientific evidence. The evidence points in one direction – we must ban neonicotinoids”.
Friends of the Earth’s chief executive Craig Bennett, has praised the move by the Government stating that, “Michael Gove & the Government are to be congratulated for listening to the experts on this issue and backing tougher restrictions.”
This major announcement follows changes the Government has made in recent weeks which the RSPCA described as “an incredible fortnight of news for animal welfare & the environment”. These changes, which I have actively lobbied Ministers on, include:
- Ending the ivory trade
- Introducing mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses
- Banning the use of microbeads
- Increasing the maximum sentence
Justin Tomlinson MP said: “This is a momentous change and one which I have lobbied Ministers on for a number of years. Our natural environment relies on bees to pollinate flowers & crops and these pesticides. I am very proud of the work the Government has done to improve welfare standards for animals and protect our environment. I will continue to be a champion for these causes locally & nationally.”
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “I’ve always been clear I will be led by the science on this matter. The weight of evidence now shows the risks neonicotinoids pose to our environment, particularly to the bees and other pollinators which play such a key part in our £100bn food industry, is greater than previously understood. I believe this justifies further restrictions on their use. We cannot afford to put our pollinator populations at risk.”
You can read the Environment Secretary’s article in full via https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/09/the-evidence-points-in-one-direction-we-must-ban-neonicotinoids