Environment secretary George Eustice has announced that a currently restricted pesticide, which contains the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam, can be used to treat sugar beet seed from this spring.
Research has indicated that the pesticide harms bee brain development, weakens immune systems and can leave bees unable to fly. In full knowledge of the clear harm that neonicotinoid pesticides causes to bees and other pollinators the government has given the go-ahead for such chemicals to be used on English crops - despite just three years ago supporting restrictions on them across the European Union.
Environmental groups have accused these pesticides of exacerbating the biodiversity crisis, which has resulted in at least half the world’s insects disappearing. Why should our food be covered in such chemicals when the government supported its ban in other countries?
Now that we have left the European Union, food and environmental standards are under threat - please sign our petition calling on our local MPs to lobby the UK government to think again and protect British bees.