PESTICIDE NEWS The Journal of Pesticide Action Network UK
An international perspective on the health and environmental effects of pesticides
IN THIS ISSUE: SUSTAINABLE COTTON RANKING 2020 GLYPHOSATE IN THE SOYBEAN FOOD CHAIN TACKLING SUPERMARKET PESTICIDE SUPPLY CHAINS 2020: A MASSIVE YEAR FOR UK PESTICIDES
SUSTAINABLE COTTON RANKING 2020 Published by PAN UK, Solidaridad and WWF, the Sustainable Cotton Ranking 2020 reveals significant progress by big brands toward more sustainable cotton. But it also shows that the divide is growing between companies that take their responsibilities seriously and the many companies that do not. Adidas has surged ahead to become a global leader in sourcing sustainable cotton. From 6th place in the last ranking, they now source 100% of their cotton from sustainable sources. IKEA, previously the most established brand for sustainable cotton, is now in second, with H&M in third. M&S is the best UK performer. Progress has been exemplified by companies like Bestseller (Jack&Jones, Vera Moda, ONLY) and Decathlon, which in 2017 were ranked as ‘starting the journey,’ but are now ‘leading the way,’ thanks to the sharp increase in their uptake of sustainable cotton.
Disappointingly, 75% of sustainable cotton gets sold as conventional cotton While 21% of global cotton production is now more sustainable, only 5% of the total global production is actively bought as sustainable by retailers and brands. The rest has to be sold as conventional cotton, because not enough of the big brands explicitly shop for more sustainable cotton. Isabelle Roger, Global Cotton Programme Manager, Solidaridad Network, says: “Shockingly, three quarters of sustainable cotton is still sold as conventional cotton. Farmer groups end up selling the majority of their more sustainable produce as conventional cotton, due to lack of demand. If the failing brands took their responsibilities seriously, this wouldn’t be an issue.”
The number of companies lagging behind is largely unchanged since 2017. Around one-third of companies, including global names like Amazon, Footlocker, Max Mara, Giorgio Armani, Trendy International Group (in a joint venture with SuperDry) and Forever 21, all scored zero in the ranking, and show an unwillingness to change, despite increasing global concerns about worsening water scarcity, pollution, land degradation, and loss of biodiversity.
More time-bound commitments and transparency needed Brands that are ‘leading the way’ perform better than the rest in all areas, but the difference is most marked in how much of the cotton they source is from more sustainable sources. Only 23 companies report on the absolute volume of more sustainable cotton they source, and most have shared this in confidence with the researchers. Only 11 companies publish how much cotton they source in total.
11 big brands, including Nike, H&M and C&A group, have committed to sourcing 100% of their cotton from more sustainable sources by the end of this year. This figure includes IKEA, Adidas and Marks and Spencer, who are aiming to maintain their 100% sustainable sourcing track records. These brands are encouraged to not only meet and sustain their target over time, but also to uphold their commitment to making the global cotton sector more sustainable, and have a deeper positive impact on cotton farming communities and their environment.
Keith Tyrell, Director of PAN UK: “Companies are not transparent enough about their supply chains and purchasing practices. We need to see more timebound targets, higher proportions of more sustainable cotton being sourced, and transparency on where their cotton really comes from.” See the full ranking, individual scores and more detailed explanations of the topics covered at: sustainablecottonranking.org
GLYPHOSATE IN THE FOOD CHAIN FROM GLYPHOSATETOLERANT SOYBEANS In a recently published paper, Thomas Bøhn & I focused on risks posed by the controversial herbicide glyphosate and genetically modified (GM) soybeans that have been modified to tolerate being sprayed with glyphosate. We highlighted the fact that official claims about the levels of residual glyphosate in glyphosate-tolerant soybeans (GTSBs) seriously under-estimate actual levels.3 Consequently, official risk assessments of GTSBs on animal and human health are unreliable.
By Erik Millstone and Thomas Bøhn The size of the annual global soy bean harvest in 2016 was estimated to have amounted to at least 350 million metric tonnes.1 Between them, the USA, Brazil and Argentina account for over 80% of global soy bean production. Very few domestic households buy raw dry beans and then cook and eat them; the vast majority of soy beans are used as ingredients in major processing industries. Soybeans provide the single largest contribution to the total protein content of agricultural animal feeds, contributing about two-thirds of total protein fed to farm animals. Soy beans are also used as primary ingredients in the manufacture of secondary ingredients, such a soya oil and soya flour, which are used in the industrial manufacturing of food products for human consumers. The ‘WorldAgNetwork’, which is sponsored by large US agricultural and food corporations, states: “Soy is in most food products consumers eat, but is not a major ingredient, except in soy milk or soy protein bars. Soy flour and oil are used in the baking industry and flour in meat processing. Yet it remains relatively unknown to the general public.”2
When the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed the risks of GTSBs, it accepted that GTSBs can be expected to contain only ~1 milligram of glyphosate per kilogramme of beans.4 In 2014, Bøhn and colleagues reported ~9 mg/kg, ie 9 times higher.5 Even more problematically, some of the data on the chemical composition of GTSBs from Monsanto, which first developed and patented GTSBs, were derived from beans to which glyphosate had not been applied.6
In the EU, soy beans are officially deemed to be ‘food’ rather than ‘food additives’, and can therefore be lawfully sold to consumers and the livestock food industry.
GTSBs deserve to be carefully scrutinised by researchers and regulatory authorities because numerous safety issues have not yet been addressed, let alone resolved. About 77% of the global soybean production comes from GTSBs.7
rates, reduced body size and delayed reproduction in the water fleas.9 The differences observed were relatively small but as survival rates, growth rates and age at maturation were all consistently adversely affected, the results implied that legally permitted levels of glyphosate residues in the GTSBs might harm public health.
Bøhn and colleagues had analysed 90 different chemical and biological parameters in 31 individual harvests of soybeans grown in the US state of Iowa to identify the composition of average Iowa soybean harvests in three types of agricultural practice namely 1) industrial GTSBs, 2) industrial non-GM soybeans and 3) organic soybeans. While GTSBs typically contained residues ~ 9.0 mg/ kg of glyphosate, no glyphosate was detected in conventional or organic soybeans grown in the same area and year. Other differences were also found; organic soybeans contained significantly more protein, zinc, barium, and several amino acids, and less saturated fat, omega-6 and selenium than the two types of soy from conventional ‘industrial agriculture’.
Supporting evidence of adverse effects, i.e. toxicity of glyphosate had been shown previously. In 2013, Cuhra et al had reported tests with six different varieties of water flea and found all of them to be immobilised by concentrations of glyphosate that were 100–300 times lower than the reportedly-safe levels claimed by the manufacturer.10 Cuhra et al reported 50% immobilised or dead animals at concentrations below 10 mg/L, while the previous industrial studies said it required 930 mg/L glyphosate to immobilise 50% of the water fleas within 48 hours. Several factors account for increasing residue levels, firstly the prevailing trend to increase the frequency and concentrations of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) on GTSBs to combat resistant weeds. The number of plant species in which resistance to glyphosate has been found increased from 2 to 43 between 2000 and 2014.11 GBHs are also increasingly applied to other crops such as wheat and barley, which have not been genetically modified to resists glyphosate. This practice, called ‘desiccation’, is performed a few days before harvest to kill the plants and so dry the grain, to reduce costs of thermal post-harvest drying.
To investigate whether glyphosate residues in GTSBs have adverse effects on our health, tests were conducted by Cuhra and colleagues using a widely accepted model, e.g. by the US National Institute of Health, namely the common water flea Daphnia magna. Eight different batches of feed were prepared from samples of GTSBs, which contained glyphosate residue levels that ranged from 1.1 to 15.1 mg/kg.8 While all those samples complied with the EU and US maximum residue levels (MRLs) of 20 and 40 mg/kg, respectively, it is important to appreciate that pesticide residues in food typically are found at levels of a few micrograms per kilogramme, i.e. a thousand times lower.
Official figures show that the amounts of GBH used in Argentina and Brazil, two of the dominant countries for soy production, increased significantly between 1996 and 2014, reaching 3–4 kg/ha of glyphosate in later years.12
The results showed that higher concentrations of glyphosate in the GTSBbased feed resulted in lower survival
Spraying crops with glyphosate from the air in South Africa. Credit: Thomas BĂ¸hn
These figures imply that farmers are applying GBHs at rates that are more than twice as high as those recommended by the manufacturers. The increased quantities of GBHs being sprayed in Argentina and Brazil reflect the fact that the number of applications per season has approximately doubled from an average of two per year in 1996 to four or more in 2010 and subsequently. In the corporate field trials, where samples for the risk assessment process were collected, there were typically 1 or 2 sprayings/season, whereas commercial farmers now frequently use a third and a fourth spraying, mostly performed late in the season. Research has shown that late-season-spraying can increase the residues in GTSBs by a factor of 10 or more.13
tonne of soybeans. This would add up to 2430 tonnes of glyphosate in the 270 million tonnes of GT soy produced globally in the 2016/2017 season. As explained above, figures from field trials indicated far lower residue levels of glyphosate, of approximately 1 mg/kg, but even those would contribute some 270 tonnes of glyphosate annually to global food-chains from GTSBs. GTSBs are always sprayed with GBHs, never with the single active ingredient, i.e glyphosate. Apart from the active ingredients, adjuvants (additives and wetting agents) are added to the commercial formulations that farmers use. These adjuvants have been reported to enhance the toxicity of GBHs compared to the single active substance, by a factor of up to 1000.20
In 2017, Almeida et al analysed herbicide use in Brazil and reported an increase to more than 9 kg/ha of glyphosate on GTSBs between 2000 and 2012.14 Miyazaki et al reported that farmers often applied 6â€“7 kg/ha, while up to 8â€“10 kg/ha were sprayed on soybeans from Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.15 Data from Iowa showed that 60%â€“70% of the farms had residue levels of 10 mg/ kg glyphosate or higher.16 Data from Brazilian and Argentinian farms suggest those estimates were quite conservative. One investigation from Brazil has shown average glyphosate residue levels of 38.5 mg/kg.17 Those figures are nearly twice as high as the official maximum permitted residue level (MRL) as specified by Codex and the EU. In a field study in Argentina, average and maximum residue-levels were measured at 31.7 mg/kg and 72.8 mg/kg, respectively.19
Conclusions Glyphosate tolerant soybeans: 1) accumulate high herbicide residue levels, 2) have impaired nutritional composition, and 3) cause dose-related adverse effects in feeding studies using a standard model organism. Moreover, data in the scientific literature show that official risk assessments assume unrealistically low glyphosate residue levels, and have failed to take account of the fact that glyphosate residues are substantially increased when herbicides are applied late in the growing season. The impacts of those residues of glyphosate have not been properly studied or assessed. There is therefore no adequate basis for supposing that GTSBs are acceptably safe for either animal or human health.
Assuming that the glyphosate residue levels found in GTSBs from Iowa are representative of soybeans traded on the international market, i.e., an average of ~9.0 mg/kg, the quantity of glyphosate entering the global food chain is ~9 g/
References Benbrook CM, Trends in glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and globally. Environ. Sci. Eur. 2016, 28, 1 13 Duke S O et al, ‘Isoflavone, glyphosate, and aminomethylphosphonic acid levels in seeds of glyphosate-treated, glyphosate-resistant soybean’, J. Agric. Food Chem. 2003, 51, 340–344 14 Almeida V et al, ‘Use of genetically modified crops and pesticides in Brazil: Growing hazards’, Cienc. Saude Coletiva 2017, 22, 3333–3339 15 Miyazaki J et al, Environ Sci Eur (2019) 31: 92. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12302-019-0274-1 16 Bøhn T et al, ‘Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans’, Food Chem. 2014, 153, 207–215 17 Bohm B et al, ‘Glyphosate effects on yield, nitrogen fixation, and seed quality in glyphosateresistant soybean’, Crop Sci. 2014, 54, 1737–1743 18 Codex Alimentarius Commission. Guidelines for the Conduct of Food Safety Assessment of Foods Derived from Recombinant-DNA Plants; CAC/ GL 45-2003, Adopted in 2003, Annexes II and III adopted in 2008; 2003, 2003; pp 1–18. Food & Agricultural Org., Rome 19 Testbiotech, High levels of residues from spraying with glyphosate found in soybeans in Argentina; Testbiotech: 2013; pp. 1–14 20 Mesnage R et al, ‘Major pesticides are more toxic to human cells than their declared active principles’, Biomed. Res. Int. 2014, 1-8, http:// dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/179691 12
https://aei.ag/2017/07/24/global-soybeanproduction 2 https://worldagnetwork.com/soybeanconsumption-on-the-rise-worldwide 3 Bøhn T & Millstone E, ‘The Introduction of Thousands of Tonnes of Glyphosate in the food Chain - An Evaluation of Glyphosate Tolerant Soybeans’, Foods, 2019, 8, 669; doi:10.3390/ foods8120669, available at https://www.mdpi. com/2304-8158/8/12/669 4 Duke S O et al, ‘Lack of transgene and glyphosate effects on yield, and mineral and amino acid content of glyphosate‐resistant soybean’, Pest Manag. Sci. 2018, 74, 1166–1173 5 Bøhn T et al, ‘Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans’, Food Chem. 2014, 153, 207–215 6 E Millstone et al, ‘‘Beyond the “substantial equivalence” of GM foods’, Nature, Vol 401, 7 October 1999, pp. 525-526 7 James C, Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2017; ISAAA: Ithaca, NY, USA, 2017 8 Cuhra M et al, Glyphosate-residues in Roundupready soybean impair D. magna life-cycle. J. Agric. Chem. Environ. 2015, 4, 24–36 9 Op. cit. 10 Cuhra M et al, ‘Clone- and age-dependent toxicity of a glyphosate commercial formulation and its active ingredient in Daphnia magna, Ecotoxicology 2013, 22, 251–262 11 Heap I, The international survey of herbicide resistant weeds. Pest Manag. Sci. 2014, 70, 1306– 1315 1
ABOUT THE AUTHORS Erik Millstone is an Emeritus Professor of Science Policy at the University of Sussex. He has been researching the causes and consequences of innovation and technological change in the agricultural and food sectors since the mid-1970s. He has also analysed the structures and operations of the institutions responsible for setting agricultural and food policies, including safety standards. Dr Thomas Bøhn is a senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, with a 15 year history of research on the impact of modern biotechnologies, especially genetically-modified organisms on experimental model systems and real food webs.
UK SUPERMARKETS TAKE STEPS TO TACKLE PESTICIDES more transparent by publishing their full pesticide policy.
But there's still a long way to go... In November 2019, we launched a campaign calling on UK supermarkets to do more to protect human health and the environment from pesticides.
Asda Asda have published a broad overview of the results of their pesticide residue testing programme. This is a step forward but the information is very general so, as with all UK supermarkets, their customers remain unable to find out which specific food items contain the highest levels of pesticides and therefore to avoid. Asda also published a blog post giving their customers some basic information on which pesticides they ban, how they work with farmers to reduce pesticides and ways in which they are improving on transparency. We hope to see Asda publish their full pesticide policy and the lists of which pesticides they ban, restrict and monitor in future.
Our top recommendation to all supermarkets was to phase out the most hazardous pesticides from their global supply chains. We also urged them to become more transparent about pesticides by making a range of information publicly available, including their full pesticide policy and detailed results of their residue testing programme. Despite it being very early days for the campaign – which will run until at least 2022 – PAN UK is delighted to report that many supermarkets have already made small but important commitments to reduce pesticide-related harms. PAN UK will be working directly with the supermarkets and watching their efforts closely to ensure that these promises become a reality. We will also be pushing for them to go much further and implement our full list of recommendations.
Co-op They plan to publish details of their pesticide policy in the near future. They are looking into ways of boosting their organic sales by stocking a wider range of organic items, but only in stores that already enjoy relatively high organic sales. However Co-op should consider working to increase organic sales across all of their stores.
Here’s an overview of the concrete commitments we have already received:
Aldi will expand their residue testing programme to include a wider variety of food items. This puts more pressure on suppliers to reduce pesticide use in order to avoid high residues. In 2020, they plan to publish a web page describing their approach to pesticides. While this is an improvement on some other supermarket websites which don’t include any information on pesticides, it falls short of our calls for supermarkets to be
In 2020, M&S plan to reinstate their Agronomy Group which gives growers a chance to share knowledge around pesticide reduction and non-chemical alternatives. Enabling farmers to come together is a vital part of supporting them to reduce pesticide use. They will review their lists of pesticides that they ban, restrict and monitor throughout their global supply chains. In particular, we
will be pushing the company to ban beetoxic neonicotinoids throughout its global supply chains. The company has plans to expand its organic range by 15-20% and make their organic products more appealing through a redesign of the packaging.
Tesco Tesco plan to expand their residue testing programme to include frozen and canned produce. While Tesco does place restrictions on the use of certain pesticides, it is one of the few UK supermarkets which does not have set lists of pesticides which it bans, restricts or monitors due to environmental and health concerns. The company told us that it plans to create these lists of pesticides which would be a huge step forward in reducing pesticide-related harms throughout its global supply chains. They intend to expand their organic range by up to 60 new products.
Morrisons In September 2019, Morrisons announced that it would be taking glyphosate-based weedkillers off their shelves in 2020. A welcome commitment, but we would like them to go further by ending the sale of all synthetic pesticide products. The company will publish more information on their pesticide policy in 2020. They will communicate the beneficial role ‘pests’ can play in the environment and educate their customers to accept finding the odd insect. This is crucial since complaints from customers about finding bugs in fresh produce is a key obstacle to reducing pesticide use.
Waitrose Waitrose are looking to replace their range of synthetic pesticide products with organic or non-chemical equivalents. They also plan to provide advice to customers on non-chemical methods for controlling pests in store or online. They are proactively looking to increase the number of organic items that they sell. It is thanks to public pressure that supermarkets are committing to do more to protect human health and the environment from pesticides.
Sainsbury’s Sainsbury’s are looking into ways of boosting organic sales through expanding their organic ranges and doing more to promote them.
A PESTICIDE-FREE PASSAGE TO INDIA PAN UK was recently able, for the first time, to bring together our partners currently working on sustainable cotton projects in Benin (OPEPAB) and Ethiopia (PAN Ethiopia) as we travelled to Nagpur in India to attend the Organic Cotton Summit 2019. For some members of the team, who all work tirelessly to better the livelihoods of local cotton farmers, it was their first time out of the country.
farmer food security, and women have also managed to establish nine cooperatives to process shea nuts which they use to make shea butter. Proceeds from sales have established community funds which are used for small loans and medical emergencies. Having the time to share the successes and challenges of working in the cotton sector left both teams inspired to put new ideas into practice on their return home, and PAN UK will continue to encourage and facilitate the exchange of ideas moving forward.
Exchanging ideas For our partners in Ethiopia, who have trained thousands of cotton farmers on sustainable farming methods in Farmer Field Schools and have managed the certification process of the first 200 organic cotton farmers in the country, the Summit was an opportunity to see beyond the cotton field and meet with global cotton supply chain representatives, brands, sector platforms and other NGOs.
Exploring the cotton production chain In addition to the Summit, the teams travelled to Indore to meet organic cotton farmers and observe the cotton production chain at Pratibha Syntex Ltd, a sustainability-oriented, verticallyintegrated manufacturer of knitted textile products. For the first time they were able to follow the full cycle of cotton garment production, from growing the crop sustainably in the field to the finishing of a piece of clothing in the factory.
The OPEPAB team were able to share the incredible progress they have made in empowering women in cotton production in Benin. By helping farmers diversify the crops they grow they have increased
Meeting farmers and making compost. Credit: Atalo Belay, PAN Ethiopia
the steps involved in making a piece of clothing from ginning, spinning, weaving and dyeing to the printing, cutting and sewing of a garment. Despite spending hundreds of hours in the field crafting the skills of growing cotton sustainably, many members of the teams had never seen the journey cotton takes after harvesting.
Farming without pesticides The teams first visited local agronomists who demonstrated the production of organic inputs such as bio pesticides, bio fertilisers, compost, green manure and seed treatments. Local organic farmers in Kamkheda also generously shared their experiences, the successes and pitfalls of growing cotton without pesticides. This included showing the teams a field test kit that they use to regularly check that their crops have not been contaminated by genetically modified cotton seeds, to ensure that their cotton is 100% organic.
Going home inspired Everyone left feeling inspired to return to their home countries and share their experience with the many farmers that they work with on a daily basis. Farmers understand the importance of organic farming systems when they have access to practical training and shared experiences. They need better access to markets that reward them adequately for growing quality organic cotton. We can all encourage retailers to support farmers by buying sustainably-grown cotton.
Choosing the best seeds A trip to the Pratibha Centre for Seed Selection and Breeding provided the teams with some refresher training on seed selection practices and the potential impact of seed type and quality on yield, resilience to climate and disease challenges, as well as suitability for organic production systems. A visit to a hybrid cotton field gave them the chance to discuss the characteristics and relative merits of several cotton varieties.
PAN UK has been working for many years in the cotton communities of Benin and Ethiopia to promote sustainable alternatives to hazardous pesticides, improve food security and empower women and girls. With thanks to Pratibha Syntex Ltd for hosting us, and to TRAID for their generous support.
Touring the factory Finally, they were able to witness all
OPEPAB and PAN Ethiopia OPEPAB following and PAN the Ethiopia garmentfollowing production the chain garment production chain at Pratibha Syntex Ltd. Credit: Atalo at Pratibha Belay, PAN Syntex Ethiopia Ltd. Credit: Atalo Belay, PAN Ethiopia
2020: A MASSIVE YEAR FOR UK PESTICIDES We've been working to ensure that UK pesticide standards do not drop as a result of Brexit since 2016. However, with political gridlock in Westminster throughout 2019, this work largely ground to a halt.
Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) The programme through which farmers will receive subsidy payments. Read our recommendations for ELMS. Environment Bill
Now, in 2020, the UK has an incredibly short period to convert EU pesticide laws into domestic legislation and ensure that the new UK system is fit-for-purpose in terms of protecting human health and the environment. We need to negotiate our trading relationships with key countries and decide to what extent our pesticide standards will align.
This crucial bit of legislation was published on 30th January. Among other things, it obliges the government to set environmental targets on a range of areas including biodiversity and water. We are pushing for the UK to adopt an ambitious pesticide reduction target. Trade Bill
We need to fill the ‘governance gap’ by ensuring that UK institutions are able to fulfil roles previously carried out by EU bodies (such as authorising pesticides for use and setting limits for the amount of a chemical allowed to appear in food), and a new system needs designing for agricultural subsidies which will support farmers to massively reduce their pesticide use.
We are working alongside a wide range of other organisations to push for Trade Democracy including a meaningful role for MPs in the negotiation of future Free Trade Agreements. The current absence of any transparency or opportunities for scrutiny make it much more likely that countries with lower pesticide standards (such as the USA) will be able to force down UK pesticide protections.
So, while in a normal year, there may be one or two opportunities to influence national pesticide standards, the following is coming up in 2020:
Future relationship with the EU We will continue pushing for the UK to remain closely aligned with EU pesticide standards. Not only will this maintain our existing health and environmental protections, it will also ensure that British farmers can continue exporting to EU countries. To avoid a No Deal Brexit, the full text of the UK/EU deal will need to be agreed by the end of this summer.
Agriculture Bill This sets out the new ‘public money for public goods’ approach which aims to pay farmers for delivering environmental benefits such as an increase in pollinators on their land. The draft bill was published on 16th January and provides an opportunity to make sure that farmers using minimal pesticides receive state support.
Free Trade Agreement with the US Given how much lower US pesticide standards are than their EU equivalents this deal poses significant risks to UK pesticide standards and could lead to higher levels of more toxic substances
ending up in our food. This could be disastrous for human health and the environment as well as undermine UK farming by allowing in a flood of imported food produced cheaply to poor standards. We must join forces to make sure this doesn’t happen.
we keep an eye on them. Read more about our previous work on Statutory Instruments. National Food Strategy While all this is going on, the government has also kicked off an independent review looking at creating the first ever National Food Strategy for England. This is a key opportunity to look holistically at our entire food system and consider how it can be reformed to deliver benefits for both people and environment. This is a key opportunity to put in place measures to reduce pesticide residues in food.
National Action Plan consultation and development In March, the UK government will launch a public consultation to update its 2012 National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides. The UK’s previous Plan was woefully weak and therefore failed to drive a significant reduction in pesticiderelated harms. Currently it looks like the new plan will continue with ‘business as usual’ so it’s crucial we mobilise to strengthen it.
While all this seems completely overwhelming, it is vitally important that civil society organisations, ordinary citizens and others concerned with protecting health and environment work to influence these processes. Read our full briefing ‘Securing and strengthening UK pesticide standards in 2020’ here.
Statutory Instruments (SIs) There will be a whole raft of SIs going through parliament this year. These serve a range of purposes including filling in the detail for the various Brexit Bills listed above. For example, the Environment Bill creates a framework that will require the government to set targets but what those look like will most likely be contained within SIs. SIs tend to be extremely long and technical and the parliamentary processes designed to scrutinise them are almost non-existent so it’s crucial
If we don’t make our voices heard at this unprecedented moment in UK history, then the current vacuum will be filled by the pesticide industry and others with a vested interest in keeping our regulations weak. Ultimately, it will be our own health, as well as that of our wildlife and landscape, that pays the price.
PAN UK VACANCY: INTERNATIONAL PROJECT MANAGER (AGROECOLOGY) PAN UK is looking for an experienced Project Manager with a strong technical background in agroecology or related discipline. As a member of the International Team you will play a key role in developing and managing projects that deliver measurable, positive impact for smallholder farmers and their communities. This is an exciting opportunity to join PAN UKâ€™s expanding international team and play a key part in supporting sustainable smallholder agriculture. Full information on our website.
PESTICIDE GIANTS MAKE BILLIONS FROM BEE-HARMING AND CARCINOGENIC CHEMICALS A groundbreaking investigation by Public Eye and Unearthed reveals that more than a third of the pesticide sales made by BASF, Bayer Crop Science, Corteva Agriscience, FMC and Syngenta contain chemicals that are highly toxic to health or the environment. The companiesâ€™ principal markets? Developing and emerging countries, where regulations are weaker and risks higher. United in the powerful lobby group CropLife International, these giants position themselves as a group of responsible companies, who are "innovating to replace highly hazardous pesticides with newer, less toxic products". The data highlights a completely different reality. Read the full article online at: www.publiceye.ch
Who are Pesticide Action Network UK?
Contact PAN UK
We are the only UK charity focused on tackling the problems caused by pesticides and promoting safe and sustainable alternatives in agriculture, urban areas, homes and gardens.
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We work tirelessly to apply pressure to governments, regulators, policy makers, industry and retailers to reduce the impacts of harmful pesticides to both human health and the environment.
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Find out more about our work at: www.pan-uk.org
March 2020 The Journal of Pesticide Action Network UK An international perspective on the health and environmental effects of pesticides