Yesterday I attended a lobby meeting arranged by Friends of the Earth Scotland highlighting the importance of bees to the food production and the UK economy.
Although this is a devolved issue, this is an issue of importance for the whole of the UK. For example, bees are responsible for the pollination of around a third of the food eaten by the world's population and the value of bee pollination of commercial crops is estimated at between £120-200 million per year.
The EU Commission announced in April 2013 that it would restrict the use of neonicotinoid pesticides to crops that are not attractive to bees and other pollinators for two years after the European Food Safety Authority concluded that three commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides posed an unacceptable danger to bees. I support the current EU moratorium on the use of the three neonicotinoid pesticides.
The UK Government opposed the European wide temporary ban on neonicotinoids and supported efforts to undermine the ban. The government said that a ban on neonicotinoids could cripple the economy, ignoring the direct value of pollination services to UK farmers and the natural environment.
I hope the current Government listen to the concerns that have been raised about this issue and I can assure you that will continue to follow developments closely and fight for the protection of our natural environment.
Thanks to Friends of the Earth for organising this event to update MPs.