MR Diggens ('Things are not always what they seem' Craven Herald letters, January 21), in response to my letter the previous week about the use of neonicotinoids on sugar beet, seems to imply that there is a place for party politics in this debate.

The purpose of my letter was to draw attention to the threat to bee populations caused by the government’s authorisation (albeit on a limited scale) for the chemical to be used.

As Mr Diggens correctly points out various EU countries have also allowed use of the chemical under ‘emergency authorisation’; but two wrongs don’t make a right and my concern is that it is disappointing that our government should follow the same route of reaching for ‘the chemical gun’ as a first response to the problem.

Of course the issue is serious for beet farmers and solutions are not straight forward.

The British Wildlife Trusts organised a very interesting webinar debate on Tuesday last week where various alternative solutions were discussed. One way forward, favoured by the beet farmer on the panel, was a financial compensation scheme to offset the reduced beet yield caused by the beet yellow virus.

I hope that both Mr Diggens and I have the same objective of using the opportunity to reset our agricultural policies in a way which will enhance biodiversity, even if that means that we pay more for what we eat.

Michael Southworth