Oxfordshire Green Party

New Oxford campaign calls for neonicotinoid ban

5 April 2013

In February Oxford City Council passed a motion moved by Cllr David Williams Leader of the Green Councillors asking the Secretary of State for the Environment to ban a series of pesticides known as neonicotinoids which various scientific studies blame for the mysterious syndrome known as 'bee colony collapse' where whole hives of bees suddenly die off for no apparent reason. (see the wording of the motion below) The syndrome is now evident in the UK and millions of bees have been effected.

Bees are critical to food production. Over 70% of foodstuffs are grown from plants pollinated by insects such as bees. Friends of the Erath and many other other organisations have been campaigning for the pesticide known as neonicotinoids to be banned in the UK in the way they have been banned in France Germany and many other European countries.

Now a local campaign, endorsed by the Greens, has been launched called BEE CAUSE which like the City Council is backing the call for a ban on the pesticides and recognising that the plight iof the bees is critical going further by working with local wildlife groups to set up wild flower reserves for local bees. The wet and cold weather recently has also reduced bee numbers.

The partnership aims to clear space and to plant the flowers that bees thrive upon.

Council Motion passed in February 2013

Bee Colony Collapse

In line with the current petition to Government by Friends of the Earth, and the ever growing scientific evidence this Council is concerned that the Government has not followed the lead of a large numbers of European states such as France and Germany and banned the pesticides neonicotinoides .

The recently published European Food Safety Authority report that concludes that there is a clear link between falling bee populations and the use of neonicotinoides adds even more scientific evidence that these chemicals should be band.

With the recent publication of evidence from scientists at the US Department of Agriculture Bee Research Laboratory, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research and the UK's Keele University indicating strongly that the major cause of Bee Colony Collapse Disorder (BCCD) is the range of chemicals known as neonicotinoides this Council believes that there is an urgent need to protect bees in Oxfordshire from these potentially dangerous chemicals which are now being used in the UK.

The issue is of great concern in Oxfordshire for the area is known for its high quality bee keeping and breeding, the local honey firms and the large acreage that is under cultivation that requires pollination by bees.

Given that bees nationally and internationally play a vital role in maintaining food stocks this Council calls on the Secretary of State to impose an immediate ban on the pesticides sold as imidacloprid and clothianidin which are believed by the scientific community to be behind the phenomena known as BCCD . In following this approach the Minister will bring the UK in line with very large numbers of European states that have already banned the named neonicotinoid chemicals ?

Moved By Councillor David Williams

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