For the third year in a row, the British government is allowing farmers to use a banned pesticide. Thiamethoxam, a type of neonicotinoid, was granted emergency approval to be used on sugar beet in England in 2023. This comes just after the UK government advocated for a global pesticide reduction target at the UN COP15 biodiversity talks in Montreal, and after the European Union toughened restrictions against this type of pesticide.
As it currently stands, without pesticides, we wouldn’t be able to feed the world. But reckless pesticide use is affecting the environment.
Some pesticides are worse than others, and in the early 2010s, several peer-reviewed studies started showing that neonicotinoids were affecting bees and triggering problems such as colony collapse disorder. In 2012, regulatory bodies had already started taking notice of this. The European Food