UK: NFU backs EU legal challenge over insecticide use

Peter Kendall, outgoing president of the National Farmers' Union speaking to Suffolk Farmers

Peter Kendall, outgoing president of the National Farmers' Union speaking to Suffolk Farmers

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) is backing a legal challenge by insecticide company Syngenta against the European Commission’s restrictions on certain neonicotinoids, including thiamethoxam, distributed by Syngenta as Cruiser.

NFU president Peter Kendall said: “It is critical to farmers that policy makers and regulators take decisions based on sound science.”

Maintaining a diverse range of pesticides was “absolutely vital” for farming, he added.

“We note that even the British Beekeepers Association has not supported the restrictions of neonicotinoid use, and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust described the Commission’s actions as premature,” said Mr Kendall.

“This is critically important to farmers because maintaining a diverse range of pesticides is absolutely vital for productive and sustainable farming. Continual erosion of active ingredients on unjustifiable grounds increases the risk of pest, weed and disease resistance. That is why the NFU is concerned about the impact the restrictions will have on its members’ abilities to farm productively and sustainably, and we are also concerned that the restrictions demonstrate policy making by regulators without a clear basis in science.”