Corporate funding from pesticide manufacturers threatens to contaminate research into the impact of agricultural chemicals on the declining bee population, warn a committee of MPs.
Reacting to the government’s draft National Pollinator Strategy, the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) says further research needs to be transparent and subject to independent controls in order to stave off corporate influence and to command public confidence.
“When it comes to research on pesticides, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is content to let the manufacturers fund the work,” Chair of the Committee, Joan Walley MP, said. “This testifies to a loss of environmental protection capacity in the Department responsible for it.
“If the research is to command public confidence, independent controls need to be maintained at every step. Unlike other research funded by pesticide companies, these studies also need to be peer-reviewed and published in full,” she added.