PESTICIDE NEWS The Journal of Pesticide Action Network UK
An international perspective on the health and environmental effects of pesticides
SAVING MANGOES IN ETHIOPIA USING INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT ALSO: • The hidden rise of UK pesticide use • The EU evaluation of glyphosate • Updated highly hazardous pesticides (HHP) list published
THE HIDDEN RISE OF UK PESTICIDE USE • Between 1974 and 2014, the average number of different pesticides applied to wheat increased by 12 times and to potatoes by 5.8 times. Between 1966 and 2015, the number of pesticides used to treat onions and leeks increased by 18 times.6
Pro-pesticide groups are misleading the British public into thinking that pesticide use is going down. Our new report reveals that, by most internationally accepted measures, UK pesticide use is in fact rising, and consequently so is the exposure of citizens and the natural environment to their harmful impacts. Pesticide advocates regularly bat away rising public concern over the toxic effects of pesticides and resist calls for stricter regulations by claiming that ‘the amount of pesticides used in the UK has halved since 1990’. But employing this statistic to show that pesticides are no longer a problem is misleading.
Polling conducted in 2017 revealed that 67% of people think that UK pesticide use should be reduced, and 78% agree that the government should provide more support to farmers using minimal or no pesticides.7 With Brexit looming, there is a danger the government could decide to weaken pesticide laws. This could be a major opportunity to strengthen existing standards and drive a reduction in pesticides in UK food, farms and urban spaces.
As an example, modern neonicotinoids are 10,000 times more potent that DDT, history’s most notorious insecticide which was banned in 2001 due to its impact on the environment.1 One gram of neonicotinoids would be sufficient to kill 125 million honeybees.2 In addition to the rise in toxicity, the data reveals a variety of other ways in which UK pesticide use is rising: • In 1990, a hectare of agricultural land was, on average, treated with pesticides 2.5 times in a growing season. This had almost doubled by 2015 to 4.2 times. In the same time period, a hectare of UK potatoes went from being treated an average of 12.4 times to 32 times.3 • Between 1990 and 2016, the area of land treated with all pesticides rose by 63%, the area treated with fungicides by 69% and herbicides by 60%.4 • In the same time period, the percentage of cereals treated more than four times with pesticides in one growing season increased from 30% to 55%, oilseed rape went from 21% to 80% and potatoes from 83% to 95%.5
References Survey Statistics (PUS STATS), Fera Science Ltd (Fera) on behalf of Defra, https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/pusstats/
An overview of the environmental risks posed by neonicotinoid insecticides, Dave Goulson, Journal of Applied Ecology 2013, page 1 h t t p s : // w w w. s u s s e x . a c . u k / w e b t e a m / gateway/file.php?name=goulson-2013-jae. pdf&site=411 1
Pesticide Usage Survey Statistics (PUS STATS), Fera Science Ltd (Fera) on behalf of Defra, https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/pusstats/ 4,5
Neonicotinoids and Bees; what is the fuss all about?, Professor Dave Goulson, 07/05/2013 http://splash.sussex.ac.uk/blog/for/dg229/ by/tag/pesticide 2
Data taken from presentation at Royal Society of Medicine conference, 20/11/2017, data purchased from Fera but not publically available. 6
Defra UK Farming Statistics, Table 2.1 Agricultural land use, 25/05/2017, https:// www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/ uploads/attachment_data/file/629227/ AUKChapter3-17jul17.ods; Pesticide Usage 3
Polling commissioned by PAN UK and SumOfUs and conducted by GQR Research, September 2017, https://gqrr.app.box.com/s/ 0ddbifc853j9k1t1sbjvuc1crvxw8zbc 7
Josie Cohen, Head of Policy and Campaigns, PAN UK states: “We have a big decision to make, but it needs to be based on solid evidence which provides a clear picture of what’s happening on the ground. The agribusiness lobby’s repeated attempts to imply that pesticides are no longer a problem using a flawed metric are extremely unhelpful. The UK urgently needs to adopt a new system for meaningfully monitoring pesticide use. Without accurate data, it’s impossible to ensure that our regulatory system is fit-forpurpose and able to protect human health and environment from the toxic effects of pesticides.”
TAKE ACTION Sign the joint PAN UK and SumOfUs petition calling on Environment Secretary Michael Gove to introduce a quantitative pesticide reduction target.
CLICK HERE Or visit www.pan-uk.org/pesticides-agriculture-uk
EU EVALUATION OF GLYPHOSATE AS A CARCINOGEN Written by Dr Peter Clausing, subsequently performed by EFSA (IARC’s work is focused on hazard Toxicologist, PAN Germany.
assessment only). Furthermore, it is safe to say that the results of those studies which were not available for IARC at that time, would have reinforced IARC’s evaluation rather than changed it. In a paper published in 2016 and based on a comparison with IARC’s monograph, EFSA’s conclusion was exposed as flawed.5
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) were only able to conclude that glyphosate is not a carcinogen by inconsistently applying and even directly violating their own regulations, guidelines and guidance documents.
In contrast to the two papers mentioned above, our paper is the first scientific publication scrutinizing the European authorities’ glyphosate assessment using their own standards, step by step. The benchmark for this scrutiny were Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 and applicable guidance and guideline documents of OECD and ECHA.6
This is the conclusion of a new peerreviewed analysis that I co-authored with Claire Robinson (GMWatch, UK) and Helmut Burtscher-Schaden (Global 2000, Austria) and published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health in March.1 We show that the European authorities inevitably would have had to conclude that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans” had they properly applied their own benchmarks The turning point was the outcome of and the “weight of evidence” (WoE) approach the re-analysis of the data by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment they claimed to have used. (BfR) as described in its Addendum to the The controversy over whether glyphosate Renewal Assessment Report of August is carcinogenic erupted in 2015 when the 2015. In the original report only one type of International Agency for Research on tumour in a single study was recognized as Cancer (IARC) concluded that glyphosate significantly increased. In the Addendum, is probably carcinogenic to humans2 while using the proper statistical methodology as EFSA concluded that glyphosate is unlikely recommended by OECD, BfR identified 11 to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans3, significantly increased tumour incidences an evaluation later shared by ECHA. EFSA in a total of two rat and five mouse studies. tried to explain its diverging assessments This was a strong indication to categorize because that of IARC was “not connected glyphosate as a category 1B carcinogen to risk management decisions”, and “based (probably carcinogenic to humans). exclusively on published information, without access to the full study reports for To keep the original conclusion unchanged European authorities had to find ways to regulated products".4 dismiss these 11 significant increases. This What J. Tarazona, Head of EFSA’s Pesticide was achieved by ignoring the new statistical Unit, forgot to explain is that the divergence evidence and by claiming to have used a WoE between IARC and EFSA occurred at an approach which “led” them to dismiss these earlier point – during hazard evaluation which 11 findings as irrelevant. is the precondition for the risk assessment 4
But in reality their WoE approach was seriously flawed, and in several instances it represented a direct violation of applicable regulations and recommendations.
authorities’ WoE approach was their isolated consideration of different lines of evidence which in fact should have been considered as complementary: IARC assessed epidemiological evidence as limited for an Such inconsistent use and violation of rules association of glyphosate exposure and and recommendations included the disregard Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In its addendum, of existing dose-response relationships; the BfR shared this view. unjustified claim that the doses used in the mouse carcinogenicity studies were too high; EFSA however, not only “downgraded” and the contention that the carcinogenic this to “very limited” (a term without legal effects were not reproducible by focusing definition), but then dismissed this finding on quantitative and neglecting qualitative completely. Instead it should have been reproducibility. Further aspects incorrectly considered as supportive evidence for the used were historical control data (to dismiss observed increase in malignant lymphoma statistically significant tumour findings), seen in three different mouse studies, multi-site responses and progression of because of the similarity of this type of lesions to malignancy. tumour with the Non-Hodgkin lymphoma seen in humans. For example, both EFSA and ECHA ignored the fact that renal tumours and malignant The new publication shows meticulously lymphomas, were reproduced in the majority that the bad science is on the side of the of the five mouse studies and that their authorities. This is just the opposite of claims incidences increased dose-dependently in made by Bernhard Url, director of EFSA, several studies. Such reproducibility and who blamed critics of EFSA’s assessment dose-dependence are strong confirmations as ignoring strong evidence that glyphosate that the cancer increases did not happen is safe and choosing instead to ‘tout weak by chance and that glyphosate was most scientific studies showing the opposite’.7 likely responsible. Another flaw in the References
with IARC. https://link.springer.com/content/ pdf/10.1007%2Fs00204-017-1962-5.pdf (open access).
Clausing, P., Robinson, C., and Burtscher-Schaden, H. (2018): Pesticides and public health: An analysis of the regulatory approach to assessing the carcinogenicity of glyphosate in the European Union. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, http://jech.bmj. com/content/early/2018/03/06/jech-2017-209776.full. pdf (open access) 1
Portier, C. et al. (2016) Differences in the carcinogenic evaluation of glyphosate between the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. http://jech.bmj. com/content/70/8/741.full.pdf (open access 5
ECHA Guidance to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) of substances and mixtures. Version 4.1, June 2015. 2015. ISBN: 978-92- 9247-413-3; OECD Guidance document 116 on the conduct and design of chronic toxicity and Carcinogenicity studies, supporting test guidelines 451, 452 and 453. 2nd edition. France, Paris: OECD Publishing, 2012; and OECD test guidelines 451, 452, and 453. 6
IARC (2015): IARC Monographs 112. Glyphosate, 92 pp. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/ vol112/mono112-10.pdf 2
EFSA (2015): Conclusion on the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance glyphosate. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/ doi/10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4302/epdf. 3
Tarazona et al. (2017): Glyphosate toxicity and carcinogenicity: a review of the scientific basis of the European Union assessment and its differences 4
https://www.nature.com/magazine-assets/d41586018-01071-9/d41586-018-01071-9.pdf © Giles Clarke, Getty Images 7
SAVING MANGOES IN ETHIOPIA WITH IPM Pest and disease challenges
Mulualem Mersha reports on successes in implementing affordable and eco-friendly Integrated Pest Management approaches with smallholder farmers in Southern Ethiopia.
Fruit flies, plant hoppers, mealy bugs, scale insects and stone weevils are major pests of mango in the area1. Important diseases affecting fruit quality are anthracnose, powdery mildew and stem end rot. Fruit flies pose the most serious problems, including the invasive Asian fruit fly Bactrocera invadens as well as native fruit fly species. The adult females lay their eggs in ripening fruit and the larvae then feed inside the flesh, causing major quality problems. Depending on the season and location, yield loss from fruit fly damage can reach 80%. Diseases can also enter the growing fruits when the skin is punctured during egg laying.
The Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional Government (SNNPRG) in Ethiopiaâ€™s southern Rift Valley region is endowed with huge production potential of food and fibre crops, including coffee, cotton and many tropical fruits, including mango. Mangoes serve as a cash crop and livelihood for many farmers, who sell fresh fruit from the two harvest periods each year. Most mangoes are grown by small scale farmers but some are also produced by a few large state farms and private commercial enterprises. National market demand for fresh mango has increased in recent years and the Arba Minch area is one of the countryâ€™s top three production zones. However, mango farmers face serious problems in increasing volumes, quality and adding value to their produce, due to several constraints: pest and disease attack; varieties not totally suitable for the zone; inadequate skills in picking and postharvest management; and lack of local facilities for storing, transporting, conserving and processing fruit and juice.
While pest and disease threats to mango have been known for many years, in 2010, the damage went from bad to worse in the Arba Minch zone. Mango fruits were falling to the ground in massive numbers, causing huge losses and farmers requested emergency help. The graveness of the problem and the search for appropriate remedies to the economic hardships suffered by growers was a driving force for organizing a campaignstyle programme, coordinated by crop protection experts at the Arba Minch Plant Health Clinic (APHC).
The educational activities developed were guided by principles of eco-benign and profitable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies that were feasible and affordable by small-scale farmers. Equal emphasis was put on coordinating efforts of many stakeholders, including the Ministry of Agriculture (SNNPRG), the AHPC team, Hawassa and Arba Minch universities, Dutch development agency SNV and fruit fly experts from the USAID APHIS team.
damaged and fallen fruits, flowers, branches and leaves and to remove and destroy these breeding sites for the flies. The easiest method is to dig a pit of around 50 x 50 cm and 60cm deep and bury the damaged fruit weekly in fruiting months, out of reach of egg-laying female flies. Burning the infected material in the pit is another option. Most farmers only have a small mango orchard and digging one or two pits is sufficient to bury all their infested fruit. Some farmers use the pits to prepare compost for their farm and others feed infested fruits to their animals. APHC staff advise farmers on different control methods, including composting, discuss their pros and cons and farmers can then implement methods best suited for their individual farms.
In April 2011, initial, immediate action by the APHC, Ministry of Agriculture and Arba Minch University, with the help of the local SNV staff, focused on diagnosis of the major problems and how these could be solved. A survey conducted with 200 farming households in five districts revealed that the invasive fruit fly Bactrocera invadens and anthracnose disease were the most important damage-causing factors, made worse by poor field hygiene practices. The next stage was to plan a process for raising awareness about these production constraints and organize a concerted campaign for field sanitation, aiming to reach 7,500 farmers in the area. The campaign started in December 2011, using participatory approaches, to teach farmers various methods of sanitation to better protect their mango orchards.
The village farmer associations, fruit producer cooperatives and their union have also gained experience of good sanitation practices around fruit collection, storage and transport sites to avoid fruit fly populations rising out of control and reduce pest transfer during transport to market.
Good field hygiene is key for fruit fly IPM Before the campaign, it was very common for farmers to leave damaged fruit unpicked, which then fell to the ground and led to more fruit fly reproduction on fallen fruit. The APHC team and collaborators developed an IPM strategy to manage fruit flies and reduce related disease attack, based on simple, practical steps to be taken at field, farm and village levels, with regular sanitation as the backbone of control tactics. The main practice for reducing fruit fly damage levels is to collect all diseased, 7
Trapping and other IPM methods
Hazardous Pesticide (HHP) according to PAN International’s List2 due to high acute toxicity to humans, inhalation hazard and high toxicity to bees. However, only very small amounts are used in each trap, compared with spraying all the fruiting branches in an orchard, and the colour, design and lures used in the traps greatly reduce exposure of non-target organisms, such as pollinators.
Through Farmer Field School training activities, farmers have learnt the importance of good pest and disease management and crop husbandry practices to improve yield and quality of their mango orchards. The focus is on ‘learning by doing’. The FFS mango curriculum covers:
• Symptoms/signs and extent of mango There are many types of pheromone and disease damage levels, including how other lures which can attract different fruit farmers can do their own assessment. fly species. The AHPC uses methyl eugenol commercial lures, specific for B. invadens, • Management techniques for the major and Cuelure H® for other Bactrocera and fruit diseases. Proper spacing of trees; Dacus fruit flies. Trimedlure® works for selection of less susceptible fruit varieties; several species of Ceratitis and protein avoidance of contaminated storage of baits attract a wide spectrum of fruit flies, diseased fruit, parts or their transport. including the females. • Proper pruning as the most important The APHC team has produced home-made management practice after sanitation, traps, using empty soft drinks bottles painted relevant not only for diseases but also yellow and making two side-openings for for fruit flies. Importance of sterilizing all the fruit flies to enter. The lure and killing farm tools and pruning materials (scissors, agent are then placed inside and the traps knives) by using 70% alcohol or fire flame distributed free to farmers. As part of the IPM before cutting newly diseased parts from training, FFS facilitators created awareness the tree. about efficient usage and safe handling of traps, lures and killing agents. The team is • Good composting practices. researching other lures and killing agents • Calendar based monitoring of mango which could be made using local resources. orchards and evaluation system. The traps are hung under the canopy of the Luring and trapping is another effective mango trees before the fruits start to ripen. method for reducing fruit fly levels. Dr The programme currently recommends Solomon Kebede of the USAID’s APHIS hanging four traps per hectare, although project in East Africa and fruit fly experts detailed research on trapping density would from South Africa kindly donated some help refine trapping strategies for the local commercial fruit fly traps and lures, based situation. The methyl eugenol lures or the sex on synthetic versions of the female fruit fly pheromone dispensers need to be replaced sex pheromone, which attracts the males. every month while the dichlorvos strips will A killing agent is then needed to destroy all remain effective for three months. the male flies lured into the traps and thus break the reproductive cycle by preventing them from mating. The programme to date has used Vapona®, based on the insecticide dichlorvos. Dichlorvos qualifies as a Highly 8
Training and community mobilisation
on fruit farms, using the farmersâ€™ orchards as the training site, the mango crop as the â€˜trainerâ€™ and facilitators and farmers as joint participants. The remainder was spent on formal training, producing posters and brochures on identification and management techniques for the major pests and diseases. Outreach activities included: direct field observations; on the spot collection of damaged fruit, digging of pits to bury This aimed to raise awareness of the key damaged fruits and other field sanitation mango pests and diseases and how to manage activities; group discussions and videos. them. Communications included distribution of 3,000 posters, 1,000 brochures plus t-shirts Village-level extension agents provided and banners for village representatives. The technical support and coordinated team and Task Force members conducted community sanitation works by the Ministry monitoring of fruit fly levels via farm of Agriculture. APHC brought volunteer inspections and then assessed the impact of students from Arba Minch High School and the outreach and training. the university to help farmers who were in need of extra labour. Since 2010, more Of the total time, 90% was spent on field than five thousand farmers have cleaned up sanitation training and group discussions mango orchards in over 2,000 hectares. An IPM Task Force was set up, comprising progressive farmers and senior and respected residents of village-level farmer associations, along with crop protection and agricultural extension staff, to coordinate activities in 8 districts in the Gamo Gofa area. The Task Force helped to design an intensive outreach campaign for one week in December 2013.
Impacts and achievements The programme has led to significant reduction in the loss of mango fruits to disease and pests and, as a result, mango producer household incomes have improved. The quality of Arba Minch mangoes delivered to markets is higher and farmers are now empowered to take actions by themselves to tackle pest and disease problems. Enhanced collaboration has been achieved between the Agriculture and Rural Development office, Upper Awash Agroindustry (fruit marketing), Melkasa Research Centre, and the APHC team.
than 8,000 farmers have benefited directly and impact surveys show that awareness of mango fruit fly problems has increased from 8% in 2009 to 75% of farmers aware and taking control measures after the outreach and training campaigns. References 1 Chala A., Getahun M., Alemayehu S. and Tadesse M. 2014. Survey of Mango Anthracnose in Southern Ethiopia and InVitro Screening of Some Essential Oils against Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. International Journal of Fruit Science. 14 (2) 157-173.
Good sanitation practices are an easy and affordable option as farmers use their family 2 List of Highly Hazardous Pesticides, labour to collect and dispose of infested PAN International, Dec. 2016 version. Via: and fallen fruits. This is much cheaper than http://www.pan-uk.org/highly-hazardousrelying on pesticide-based strategies. More pesticides/ Mr Mulualem Mersha (pictured below centre) is Head of the Arba Minch Plant Health Clinic, part of the Bureau of Agriculture of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peopleâ€™s Regional Government. He has collaborated with PAN Ethiopiaâ€™s cotton IPM Farmer Field School project since 2013. Email: email@example.com
NEW FROM THE PAN NETWORK Updated list of highly hazardous Keith Tyrell from PAN UK adds “Though pesticides have been recognized as a pesticides (HHPs) published
global threat to health, development and the environment, and despite a variety of pesticide Conventions and agreements, global governance of pesticides is weak, leaving large gaps in overall management.”
Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International released an updated version of its List of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) to coincide with a key meeting in Stockholm of the Strategic Approach for International Chemicals Management (SAICM) process. In the Global South there is daily proof of the The expanded list now includes 306 devasting effects of pesticides on families and their livelihoods. Maimouna Diene of chemicals. PAN Africa says “If SAICM wants to fulfill Among the nine newly listed pesticides its goal of achieving sound management of in the updated version of the HHP list are chemicals throughout their whole lifecycle carbetamide for being classified as a presumed and to protect human health and ecosystems, human reproductive toxicant according to it has to intensify its actions on HHPs and the EU, cyanamide for its hormone disrupting provide trainings to farmers, including properties and emamectin benzoate for its women farmers, on agroecological practices. The past few years have shown that the threat to the environment and bees. global pesticides problem cannot be tackled Following the addition of a new criterion, adequately with voluntary agreements.” the list now includes pesticides which are recognised by the UN Rotterdam Convention PAN Asia Pacific’s Sarojeni Rengam says as meeting the Convention’s criteria for “The Sustainable Development Goals, in global trade restrictions. These pesticides particular to end hunger, achieve food have however not yet been officially listed security and promote sustainable agriculture; in the Rotterdam Convention for political to ensure healthy lives and to halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity reasons. loss cannot be achieved until the widespread Susan Haffmans of PAN Germany says “These use of HHPs is replaced by agroecological pesticides are having a devastating effect on practices”. biodiversity, including on beneficial insects. They are undermining the sustainability The PAN HHP list includes pesticides with of food production systems and harm an high levels of acute or chronic hazards unknown number of farmers, workers, to health or environment according to children and animals every year.” internationally accepted classification systems. With the HHP list, PAN provides a “We are deeply concerned about the negative tool to identify highly dangerous pesticides impact of hazardous pesticides on the health and then to replace them with safer and of children around the world, especially from more sustainable alternatives. rural and farming communities. There is a critical need for global action to curtail the FIND THE LIST AT: use of the worst pesticides to protect the www.pan-germany.org/download/PAN_ wellbeing of children.” says Kristin Schafer of HHP_List.pdf PAN North America. 11
NEW FROM THE PAN NETWORK Dora rejoins the PAN UK team After a year of maternity leave, Dora Clouttick has returned to PAN in a new role supporting the Pesticide-Free Towns campaign in the UK. With the London local elections coming up in May, Dora, along with the rest of the team, will be encouraging councillors to pledge to make their borough pesticide-free. As a new mum, Dora is keen to ensure safe access to green spaces for children and, with her background in environmental science and urban roof top ecology, she is more motivated than ever to help protect urban habitats for wildlife to flourish. If you're interested in joining our campaign do get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org
Date for your diary: 8th June 2018 PAN-Europe is holding a conference in Brussels in June titled "Inspiring CitizenDriven Actions for Nature-Based Cities". It is being organised in conjunction with ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability in partnership with the European Economic and Social Committee. The event will be part of EU Green Week 2018 "Green Cities for a Greener Future". The focus is on citizen-driven actions for achieving nature-based and healthy cities
with the aim of increasing the quality of life of citizens in their cities. Spotlights will be on different good practice cases across Europe, related to health and nature in the city. Discussions on how citizens can contribute to making cities greener through nature-based, eco-innovative and democratic activities will take place. A pop-up exhibition on a citizen-driven journey to preserve health and biodiversity by banning pesticides through a referendum in the small town of Mals in Italy.
Find full details about the conference at: https://www.pan-europe.info/events/conferences/conference-inspiring-citizen-driven-actions-nature-based-cities-8th-june-2018