On 1st September 2020, the EU’s ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides came into effect but investigators have found that eight EU countries and the UK have since exported neonicotinoids to other nations with weaker environmental regulations. These are unacceptable double standards: the companies that produce these dangerous chemicals are prioritising their profits at the expense of our environment.
 Buff tailed bumblebee  Honey bee
Neonicotinoid pesticides have been described by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as a worldwide threat to biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services. The EU ban, the result of years of lobbying by environmentalists, was welcomed at an international level: the WHO (World Health Organization) and the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) said it was evidence of a growing consensus on the need to restrict the use of neonicotinoids because of their “large-scale adverse effects on bees and other beneficial insects”.
We need to raise our voices. We need to demand that the UK’s production and export of neonicotinoid insecticides be called to a halt: if they are too dangerous to use here, they are too dangerous to use anywhere. We should be banning the import of food from countries that still permit crops to be treated with neonicotinoids, not contributing to widescale ecocide by exporting our surplus to the places where it can still be used.
Write to your MP, sign a petition, make a banner and wave it overhead. Remember that the leaders who turned up for COP26 were those who had electorates to please; the absentees, like Putin and Xi, were the ones who don’t have to worry about votes. The voices from the cheap seats are beginning to be heard and the people who make the decisions are beginning to listen.
Let’s see what we can do about neonicotinoids.