Government ignores scientific advice on pesticide

Barry White

The recent decision by the government to ignore advice scientific and allow farmers to continue using a bee-harming pesticide on sugar beet crops has been criticised by ecologists. The neonicotinoid pesticide treatment, known as thiamethoxam, was banned in the EU in 2018 due to the damage it causes to bees, pollinators and aquatic life if it ends up in rivers. The pesticide was previously approved for use on sugar beet due to a high incidence of yellows virus, which can destroy crops. Around 63 per cent of the UK’s sugar is produced domestically, and the government says this could be at risk if a significant amount of the crop is infected.

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