The National Government should ban the use of controversial pesticides called neonicotinoids after evidence has revealed that even at low doses they cause harm to bee populations, the Green Party said today.
The comments come on the back of research published in Nature magazine, which confirmed even low doses of neonicotinoids (called neonics for short) affect bumble bees’ ability to forage and pollinate crops.
“We’ve long known that neonics kill bees at high doses, but this is the first study to show how badly impacted bees are at low doses,” said Green Party pesticides spokesperson Steffan Browning.
“Banning neonics is one way the Government can ensure healthy bees thrive in New Zealand. Bee populations are declining around the world, but we can turn that around.
“The first step is for the Environmental Protection Authority to undertake urgent reassessment of these compounds.
“Healthy bees are critical to our food chain and we must do everything possible to protect them. They pollinate the plants that we and other animals eat. We can’t do without them.
“The Green Party has been calling for neonics to be banned for years, and we can’t wait any longer. These pesticides stay in the soil and in plants for months or years after application so we need to stop their usage now.
“As neonics are in commonly found sprays like Yates Confidor and Kiwicare Plant Health Insect Hit, consumers may be inadvertently harming bee populations in their backyards. We need to get these compounds off the shelf and out of our environment,” said Mr Browning.