DEFRA’s pollinator strategy side-steps pesticides

The long-awaited national pollinator strategy attempts to tackle habitat loss and disease in bees and other insects but has little to say about pesticides

DEFRA's new plans to protect pollinators such as bees has avoided drawing a clear link between pesticides and declining insect numbers.

The long-awaited national pollinator strategy, launched on 4 November, is an attempt to halt the decline in pollinator numbers across the country and deals with the problems of habitat loss and disease head-on.

But it only describes some pesticides as “potentially” harmful to bees and seeks to address “gaps in knowledge” by gathering more evidence rather than imposing stricter regulations on their use.

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