PETITION: Overturn authorisation of banned pesticides on UK sugar crops


Farmers have again been granted special permission to use banned neonicotinoid pesticides on sugar beet, despite evidence showing their extreme toxicity to all insect life. Urge the government to reverse the decision, says Professor Dave Goulson of University of Sussex.


The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has reauthorised the emergency use of thiamethoxam to protect sugar beet crops from the Yellow Virus. But there is widespread evidence of harmful effects of this neonicontinoid on bees and other pollinators. Its use in the EU is banned for this reason.

Professor Dave Goulson, scientist, author and founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, says: “For three years in a row our government has granted farmers special permission to use banned neonicotinoid pesticides on sugar beet. This is contrary to the expert advice of their own Expert Committee on Pesticides, who specifically recommended that permission should not be granted.

It also flies in the face of a huge body of scientific evidence showing that these chemicals are phenomenally toxic to all insect life, and that their use on any crop contaminates soils, hedgerow plants, and nearby streams and ponds for years to come.”

How you can help

A petition has been created by wildflower enterprise Seedball on the UK Government website urging  Defra to reverse its decision. Once the petition receives 100,000 signatures, it must be debated in Parliament.

You can add your name here:

Professor Goulson adds: “We are in a crisis, with insect populations in freefall. It is about time our government woke up to this, and acted accordingly. This petition is a necessary means of holding the government to account. Please sign and share as signing will ensure the issue is debated in Parliament.”

You can learn more about the reasons for wanting to ban these pesticides on the Seedball website here: Neonicotinoid Pesticide – Seedball





  1. Joan Wilkes

    No to neonicotinoid pesticides – save our bees and insects!!

  2. Alan Burkill

    So please explain what the alternative environmentally friendly options are & why the Government haven’t introduced them instead.

  3. Linda Henderson

    We must save insect life 50% of insect life has disappeared

  4. Linda Henderson

    We must save insect life it is said 50% of insect life has disappeared. We cannot use chemical sprays that kill insect life.

  5. Brenda McAuliffe

    All life is precious every insect is an integral part of nature and therefore has a purpose and contributes to the survival of this earth and all its inhabitants. We are killing insects at an alarming rate in our ignorance of their importance .

  6. Luella Bubloz

    save the bees


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