Defra has granted farmers in England the temporary right to use the insecticide thiamethoxam for a 120-day period. This pesticide is proven to be harmful to bees, which are vital pollinators and already suffering population decline. The decision needs to be reversed.
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No one crop is important enough to jeopardise bees, without which our entire food system would be at risk. This pesticide is banned in the EU on the basis of its proven harm to pollinators and to use it even for a short period will contaminate soil and water. Although bees are dormant during winter the 120 day period will include the spring when they emerge to begin foraging.