Today’s (2 March) announcement that a banned neonicotinoid will not be used on sugar beet is good news – but does not halt the risk to wildlife in future years
Bees and other wildlife may have won a temporary reprieve and could now avoid being poisoned by a toxic pesticide due to the recent snap of very cold weather killing off virus-transmitting aphids which can attack sugar beet crops.
The Wildlife Trusts are delighted that the Government will not be granting an emergency authorisation for the use of a banned neonicotinoid on sugar beet this year. Tests have found that the level of virus infection forecast is 8.37%, which is not enough to meet the threshold for the use of the neonicotinoid, thiamethoxam, to combat the virus which affects sugar beet. [British Beet Research Organisation announcement today here.]
While The Wildlife Trusts are pleased that the Government will not be proceeding with this highly damaging authorisation this year, this ‘stay of execution’ does not change the underlying issue – that the neonicotinoid could be allowed in the future.