Labour MEPs have today voted for a EU-wide ban on dangerous substances used in pesticides that are killing bees.
The report voted in the EU Parliament today is also calling for greater assistance to help the EU beekeeping sector, including financial assistance, training and research.
Paul Brannen MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on agriculture, said:
“Many of my constituents have written to me in the past months asking for the ban on these harmful pesticides to be upheld and I echo their concerns. It is also vital that Britain’s beekeepers get the support they need, and this report offers a range of solutions to help them - it would be a travesty if they fail to benefit from new EU assistance because of Brexit, and if dangerous pesticides continue to be used to in UK.
“This report recognises the contribution of honey bees and many other wild pollinators, and their vital role in maintaining our food chain, ecosystems and biodiversity. Across Europe, 84% of plant species and 76% of food production are dependent on pollination by bees. Increased mortality and the decline in honeybees and other wild pollinators will have a major impact on food security and production.
“The evidence is irrefutable - bees are vital. In Britain, bee populations have fallen by 30% since 2007. Michael Gove keeps claiming our environmental standards would not be loosened as a result of leaving the EU, but the UK government’s actions belie a different picture - it has repeatedly ignored the evidence, fighting again and again against any EU bans on hazardous pesticides.
“British bees will sleep sounder in their hives if Gove and the Tories back up their words and back the ban.”