Public back pesticide ban

Chris PolechonskiSenior Research Executive Digital, Media and Technology
April 29, 2013, 3:46 PM GMT+0

A majority of the British public think the government should support a European vote to restrict the use of pesticides linked to bee deaths

Today an EU vote has imposed a two-year restriction on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which are linked to bee deaths in scientific studies. The UK cannot opt out of these restrictions. This proposal had initially been put forward in March, but it failed in a vote in which the UK abstained. In the vote today, however, the UK was one of eight countries that voted against it.

British public opinion does not follow the government’s decision to vote against a ban of neonicotinoids. When asked whether they think that the government should support or oppose a ban to protect bees, 71% of adults say it should support the ban. Only 9% think the government should oppose the ban, while one in five (20%) are unsure.

Again, when asked whether Britain should or should not permit the use of pesticides altogether until it can be proved that they are safe for animals, humans and bees, a majority (68%) of adults think that Britain should not permit the use of pesticides. Nearly one in six (16%) say that Britain should permit the use of pesticides, whilst the same number are unsure.