UK conservationists have condemned a government decision late last week that approves the use of a pesticide known to harm bees. On Friday, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs approved the use of a product containing the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam for emergency use on sugar beet seeds throughout 2021 in England. This goes against its pledge -made two years ago- to maintain an EU-wide restriction on 'neonics' after the UK's departure from the bloc.
The government has argued the year-long relaxation of the ban would provide sugar beet farmers with much-needed relief after the virus yellows disease significantly reduced crop yields last year.
In a note published on Friday, Defra argued the reintroduction of the pesticide would provide "important protection" to the crop, which is grown commercially for sugar production, claiming "this protection cannot be provided by any other reasonable means".
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