Environmental campaigners are taking the government to the High Court to challenge the temporary lifting of a ban outlawing pesticides which are harmful to .

Members of the Friends of the Earth (FoE) group want judges to block farmers in England from using neonicotinoid pesticides, after the government granted a 120-day easing of the EU-wide ban.

The neonicotinoid pesticides are thought to be harmful to bees
The neonicotinoid pesticides are thought to be harmful to bees Credit: PA

groups called the decision “scandalous”, and said the use of neonicotinoids was “unnecessary, harmful and unlawful”.

These neonicotinoid pesticides have been restricted throughout the EU because scientists say they are harming bees, which are crucial for pollinating Britain’s fields, allotments and gardens.

The Government should be listening to the science and championing the long-term interests of our threatened bees.

The distribution of these seeds should now be halted until the courts can decide whether their use is lawful.


He said says this year’s harvest had seen a good crop of oilseed rape despite the restrictions on neonicotinoids, with yields between three and nine per cent higher than the 10-year national average.

A Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) spokeswoman said:

The EU Commission introduced precautionary restrictions on neonicotinoids from December 2013, which the UK has fully implemented.

The government makes decisions on pesticides based on the recommendations of senior scientists and independent experts who have looked at the best available scientific evidence.

It would not be appropriate for us to comment further on ongoing legal proceedings.



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