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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-02124: Angus MacDonald (Falkirk East)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 25 August 2016

To ask the Scottish Government, in terms of the impact on the bee population in Scotland, what its response is to the article published on 16 August 2016 by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, which details "long-term, large scale" detrimental impacts through the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 6 September 2016

The Scottish Government welcomes the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology's (CEH) recent article which reported correlations between wild bee populations and neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments use in oilseed rape.

We consider this an interesting and useful piece of research, and note that the authors acknowledge that many factors are linked to pollinator decline.

We await the results from the soon to be published CEH large-scale European field trials. These results are expected to address some of the scale and replication challenges of previous field studies which investigated the potential impact of neonicotinoids on pollinators.

The results from the upcoming CEH report will also feed into the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) assessment of all the new research findings on the use of neonicotinoids. EFSA are expected to publish a report summarising their findings by the end of January 2017, which we will carefully consider.

In the meantime, the Scottish Government supports Europe's precautionary approach and the continuation of the current restrictions on the use of the three neonicotinoids.