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Bees: Neonicotinoids

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 89631, tabled on 8 December 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the impact of neonicotinoid Cruiser SB on bee health.

Answered on

16 December 2021

Cruiser SB is a plant protection product containing the active substance thiamethoxam, which is a neonicotinoid insecticide. Approval for the outdoor use of the neonicotinoids clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam on any crops, including non-flowering crops such as sugar beet, has been completely withdrawn in the UK. These restrictions are justified by the growing weight of scientific evidence that neonicotinoids are harmful to bees and other pollinators.

Under GB pesticides legislation, emergency authorisations for the limited and controlled use of pesticides may be granted where the legal requirements are met, including that use of the pesticide appears necessary because of a danger which cannot be contained by any other reasonable means. Defra granted an emergency authorisation for the limited use of Cruiser SB on the 2021 sugar beet crop to provide emergency protection against viruses that significantly impacted yields the previous year. Ultimately, Cruiser SB was not used on the 2021 crop as the conditions set by the Government as part of the emergency authorisation for the use of the product were not met.