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Nia Griffith MP has committed to protect bees in the UK, speaking out against government plans to lift a ban on bee-harming pesticides.

The MP made the declaration as government ministers look at requests to let dangerous pesticides – known as neonicotinoids – back into UK soil this autumn, despite clear evidence of how much damage they do to our bees.

Recent figures show that bees contribute £651 million to the UK economy each year – up 51% since 2007. For instance 85% of the UK’s apple crops and 45% of our strawberry crop relies on bees to grow.

 The ban was voted for by European governments in 2013 after numerous scientific studies found that certain pesticides were particularly harmful to bees. Since then even more studies have supported the need for this ban.

 Nia said,

“I would like to thank all those people who have written to me about the harm neonicotinoids do to our bee population. I support the European-wide ban on neonicotinoid use because it is a proportionate response to the scientific evidence on the harm it does to bees and other pollinators, and I am angry that the Conservative Government opposed the European ban and has supported efforts to undermine it. I have spoken up about this before in parliament, and, to keep the pressure up, I have now written to Government Ministers to ask them to keep the ban. I also think we should consider what the long –term effects on human health might be.”

Friends of the Earth Bees Campaigner Dave Timms said: “Bees are crucial for our food and farming. The scientific evidence is growing all the time about the need to protect our much loved bees from these dangerous pesticides. It’s vital the Government keeps them out of our fields and gardens for good.”