Update on February 21, 2013
THE GREEN Party will be handing in YOUR petition to the government on Thursday 21st
February to outlaw the use and sale of neonicotinoid pesticides in the
UK, which have been increasingly implicated in the decline of honeybees
and wild bees over the past decade.
* DEFRA, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR, 2pm.
Pippa Bortolloti, leader
of the Wales Green Party, will simultaneously hand in the petition to
John Griffiths, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development.
* PETITION will also be handed in simultaneously in Scotland
In France, Italy and other countries these insecticides have already
been restricted. In Britain and the USA however, their use continues.
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett will be handing in the petition with prominent bee campaigner and Facebook Cause
Leader Brigit Strawbridge. It will be the first time in history that a
petition gathered via social media will be delivered to the UK
government by the leader of a political party.
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has served on an Environmental Audit
Committee inquiry that has investigated the risks posed
by neonicotinoids, and has written repeatedly to the Government to
demand a ban on their use after a number of studies showed negative
effects on bee populations.
She has also exposed evidence suggesting that European regulators
have turned a blind eye to data on the danger that one of the world's
biggest selling pesticides could pose to bees and other pollinators.
Caroline said: "Bees play an essential role in our
ecosystem and declining numbers are a huge threat to UK agriculture –
the authorities have a duty to act on these risks".
Malcolm Higginbottom, founder of the petition and Chairman of Good is Planet Earth, said:
"This petition is a timely step in the right direction. The hand in
will be prior to The European Food Standards Agency meeting on February
25 2013, which follows a Dutch delegation calling upon the European
Commission to take action. A number of member states support the
proposal, including France, Poland and the Czech Republic.
"Italy has introduced restrictions on the use of neonicotinoid
pesticides, Slovenia has already imposed a full ban, and some national
retailers in the UK including B&Q and Home Base have acted to remove
neonic related products from their shelves amid growing public concern
of pollinator collapse and potential food shortages.
"A study commissioned by Friends of the Earth finds that having to
pollinate crops without the help of bees would cost the UK almost £2
billion a year in higher food prices. This huge annual bill amounts to
what it would cost to hand-pollinate crops if bees died out in the UK.
"As Lord Jones of Cheltenham said in a debate in the House of Lords
(January 10 2013), the "population decline of bees and other pollinators
needs to be treated as a National Emergency."
"A study led by Stirling's Professor David Goulson showed that growth
of bee colonies slowed after the insects were exposed to
"field-realistic levels" of imidacloprid, a common neonicotinoid
insecticide. The production of queens, essential for colony survival,
declined by a massive 85 per cent in comparison with unexposed colonies
used as a control.
"BeeTheChange, a Facebook based Social awareness group, run by
Goodisplanetearth.org have submitted evidence to the Environmental Audit
Committee and other consultations, calling on the UK government to take
preventative action to protect pollination species."