are confident that this RING ROT outbreak has now been
successfully contained and no longer poses a threat to other
The European Commission will restrict the use of neonicitinoid pesticides, which some researchers have linked to bee deaths, following a 15 to eight vote of EU member states.
From December 1 2013 farmers will not be able to buy or sow treated seeds of crops deemed attractive to bees for a two-year period, at which time a review of evidence will be held.
The decision represents a blow to farmers who rely on the affected pesticides to keep crops, especially oilseed rape, clear of yield-sapping pests. Analysts have estimated the cost to the UK economy at £630m.
Fifteen countries, including Germany, voted in favour of the ban - not enough to form a qualified majority, but enough for the Commission to use its powers to impose a two-year restriction. The UK and Italy were among the eight nations that voted against the proposal. Four countries abstained.
Dr Chris Hartfield (NFU horticultural adviser)
"There are concerns about the harmful impact of a particular group of important and widely used insecticides – the neonicotinoids – on bees and other pollinating insects.
While scientific studies show that dosing bees in the laboratory with neonicotinoids has harmful effects on their behaviour and life cycles, other studies (including one published by Defra last month) show these harmful effects are not seen under normal field conditions. And there is no evidence to single out neonicotinoids as causing widespread declines in bee and pollinator populations. For these reasons, the NFU doesn’t support calls to ban the use of neonicotinoids. While such calls are popular, in the absence of good evidence such bans would not deliver any measurable benefits for bee health."