Government must put bees first

The Environmental Protection Agency needs to apply the precautionary principle and stop the use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids due to the detrimental affect they have on New Zealand’s bees the Green party said today.

The Environmental Protection Agency needs to apply the precautionary principle and stop the use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids due to the detrimental affect they have on New Zealand’s bees the Green party said today.

In response to a report on bee health from the Local Government and Environment Committee, the Government response is that neonicotinoids already have stringent controls monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency.  The Committee report was sparked by a petition from former Green MP Sue Kedgley calling for a halt to the use of pesticides containing neonicotinoid’s.

“The Government needs to pay closer attention to the Hazardous Substances Act (HSNO) and halt the use of neonicotinoids because of the potential to destroy our beekeeping industry,” Green Party agriculture spokesperson Steffan Browning said today.

“Neonicotinoids have been implicated in bee deaths around the world.

“The European Commission in 2013 put restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids across Europe due to concerns about their impact on pollinators, especially bees.

“While Europe is protecting its bees the Government and the Ministry for Primary Industries are failing our bees and beekeepers,” Mr Browning said.

“New Zealand allows dozens of products containing neonicotinoids approved for agricultural use and there appears to be little or no interest in monitoring these harmful substances.

“This is simply not good enough given that the New Zealand’s National Beekeepers Association estimates that bees contribute $5.1 billion to New Zealand’s economy.

“The Government needs to urgently reconsider their response to Ms Kedgley’s petition and start putting the health of our bees and our beekeeping industry first.

“Allowing the continuing use of neonicotinoids is simply playing Russian roulette with a vital part of our agricultural industry,” Mr Browning said.

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