Pollinators and Pesticides - Environmental Audit Committee Contents


13.  Defra must introduce a national monitoring programme to generate and monitor population data on a broad range of wild insect pollinator species to inform policy making. (Paragraph 13)

14.  The agrochemical industry should place the results of its risk assessment trials in the public domain to inform academic research and increase transparency for the public. Defra should work with industry and academics to establish which, if any, genuinely commercially sensitive details should be redacted to make that possible. (Paragraph 26)

15.  We urge Defra to introduce a representative range of sentinel pollinator species in UK pesticides risk assessments and work to agree a similar arrangement across the EU. (Paragraph 30)

16.  We recommend that the Government exercises its influence in Europe to empower EFSA to include action points in future [pesticides approval] peer reviews which the European Commission must explicitly address before approving active substances. The Government should seek a common understanding in Europe that active substances should be assessed by the regulatory authority of a Member State other than the one in which the applicant company is based. (Paragraph 40)

17.  Defra must review how it exercises the precautionary principle. Economic considerations should not form part of environmental risk management decision making, but rather should be a function of a distinct and transparent subsequent political process. (Paragraph 69)

18.  Defra must develop the UK National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides in line with both the spirit and the requirements of the European Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides. To that end, Defra should prioritise the development of the action plan in its business plan and accordingly provide an appropriate level of resource. The UK plan should include quantitative objectives, targets, measures, timetables and indicators, as stipulated by the directive. The promotion of integrated pest management principles is a key feature of the EU Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides, and Member States are required to implement the provisions on IPM by 1 January 2014. Defra should introduce clear incentives for farmers to drive take up of IPM. (Paragraph 80)

19.  Defra should prepare to introduce a moratorium in the UK on the use of imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam on crops that are attractive to bees by 1 January 2014, and support such a proposal in the EU. (Paragraph 81)

20.  Defra must immediately withdraw the approvals for use in the UK of neonicotinoid pesticides marketed for amateur application in private gardens and on amenities in order to create neonicotinoid-free zones for pollinators in non-agricultural areas. (Paragraph 84)

21.  In its forthcoming review of advice, incentives and voluntary initiatives for farmers, Defra should give prominence to measures which would support bees and other pollinators, including leaving land un-cropped. (Paragraph 88)

22.  The Government's stance in negotiations in Europe on the new CAP package should be to push measures which offer meaningful pollinator support within the environmental schemes qualifying for payment. And from that baseline, the Government should then follow a similar outlook in designing qualifying initiatives in England (the devolved Administrations would manage their own schemes). (Paragraph 91)

23.  Defra should prioritise its work on valuing ecosystem services and at an early stage in that work address the particular case study of pollinators to ensure that policy making on insecticides fully reflects not only direct financial costs but wider environmental costs. (Paragraph 95)

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Prepared 5 April 2013