Science, Innovation and Technology Committee closes inquiry on insect decline and UK food security with evidence from Natural England and Government
Insect numbers are difficult to quantify however recent research suggests that in the UK the flying insects that are central to UK food security have declined significantly, with potentially catastrophic effects. Insects are essential in pollinating food crops but also in pest and weed regulation, with further concerns that pest species may be increasing with further potential negative impacts on crop yields.
In this inquiry the Committee has aimed to build understanding of the role of insects in the UK food system, the economic impact of their decline and the associated risk to UK food security. What evidence do we have on insect species and abundance in the UK and what are current drivers of insect loss? After a five year delay to publication of an updated National Action Plan on Sustainable use of Pesticides and an update on the National Pollinator Strategy due soon, what is the Government doing to reverse the declines whilst ensuring UK food security?
The fourth and final session of the inquiry will focus on the Government’s policies on species preservation, agri-environmental schemes and pesticide use.