The West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris has slammed the Government for approving the use of a pesticide known to kill bees.
For the fourth year in a row, ministers have given emergency approval to the banned pesticide. ‘Cruiser SB’ is used on sugar beet and is highly toxic to bees. It is banned in the EU, yet the Government has disregarded the advice of top UK health and safety experts by authorising its emergency use every year since leaving the bloc. It’s expected to do so again in 2024. Just one teaspoon of neonicotinoid can kill 1.25 billion bees.
“What is the point of a ban if every year the government override it?” said the Metro Mayor. “This is a ban in name only.”
The Mayor, who recently joined forces with Yeo Valley Organic to call for an end to use of the bee-killing substance, says the decision once again shows powers to ban it should rest with him, rather than Whitehall.
He said: “The West of England Mayoral Combined Authority I lead has been taking strides forward on my commitment to transform the West of England into the bee and pollinator capital of the UK, not least thanks to my £1 million pollinator fund and annual Bee Bold Awards.
“But our efforts to encourage the bee population have again been undermined by the Government’s repeated decision to allow this harmful pesticide.
“Bees play a crucial role in our gardens, farms and lives. Their health is non-negotiable. That’s why I once again urge ministers to grant me the powers, similar to those in Wales, to decide locally whether pesticides are used in our region.“