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The journal of Pesticide Action Network UK An international perspective on the health and environmental effects of pesticides Quarterly

Autumn 2011

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Pesticides News No 93 Editorial 2 Organic cotton

News

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8

No level playing field – uneven distribution of benefit in organic cotton

Obituary 5

Wangari Maathai’s final journay

GM crops 6

When less equals more – the rapid rise of weeds resistant to glyphosate

African initiatives 9

‘DriftCatcher’ pilot with smallholders in Senegal

16 Controlling pesticide poisoning in Lake Eyasi basin, Tanzania

Biological control 12 Biological control in Brazil

Pesticides Forum – 15 years and still going strong

15 International row over sponsor of 2012 London Olympic Games

15 ‘Big 6’ agrochemical companies indicted for crimes against humanity

European issues 19 Italy’s neonicotinoid bans help bees 20 What are UK supermarkets doing about pesticides?

22 European NGOs concerned over CAP reform

Book and film reviews 23 Useful research findings from African horticulture systems

23 Seeds of freedom 23 Vanishing of the bees

Pesticide Action Network UK Development House 56-64 Leonard Street London EC2A 4LT, UK Tel +44 (0)20 7065 0905 Fax +44 (0)20 7065 0907 Email admin@pan-uk.org

www.pan-uk.org www.pan-international.org links to all PAN Regional Centres

Photo: PAN UK


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Editorial

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In 2009, PAN UK assessed the ten leading UK supermarkets on their pesticide policies. Two years on and we have repeated the exercise to see what progress (if any) retailers have made (page 20). This time around we supplemented the supermarkets’ own information with questionnaires and interviews to try to dig deeper and get a better picture of their performance. Once again the Co-operative and Marks and Spencer have come top. These two retailers are streets ahead of their competitors in developing and implementing ambitious pesticide policies. Importantly, these companies also support their suppliers to help them comply with their demands. Both of these retailers are well advanced in phasing out endosulfan so that the recent decision of the Stockholm Convention to ban this chemical will only have a limited impact on their supply chains. This is a clear example where acting proactively to address an environmental and social problem results in a competitive advantage. Meanwhile, Aldi and Lidl remain firmly at the bottom of the table. Their performance in the UK is particularly disappointing given that their German parents appear to be much more progressive. Most of the remaining supermarkets, while not in the same league as the two leaders have improved their performance, with the exception of Sainsbury’s which has dropped back. Many of the supermarkets have begun to promote activities that support pollinators, but only one – the Co-op – has taken steps to restrict the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. The UK government has steadfastly resisted calls to ban these systemic pesticides which have been implicated in serious bee declines because they say the link is not clear enough. However, evidence is mounting. On page 19 we report from Italy which introduced a precautionary ban on neonicotinoid use on maize in 2008. Winter losses of beehives have halved since the ban started, and bee deaths related to maize have plummeted. This should act as a wake up call for those countries – including the UK – which continue to dither over introducing their own bans. One of the striking features of the Italian research is that maize yields have not suffered as a result of the ban, demonstrating that there are many alternatives available. Biological control is proving a popular – and effective – pest control strategy worldwide, and on p12 we learn how it is making dramatic inroads in Brazil which is, paradoxically, the world’s biggest user of synthetic pesticides. Pesticides have long caused problems in Africa and two articles in this issue (p9 and p16) outline steps that PAN partners are taking to raise awareness and improve pesticide management on the continent.

Online subscription Subscribers can now benefit from an online searchable version of Pesticides News (September 1993 to the current issue) with the following username and password (changed twice a year): Username: subscriber Password: carbaryl

It is with great sadness that we report on the death of Nobel Laureate, and founder of the Green Belt Movement, Wangari Maathai (see p5). Dr Maathai spoke eloquently about the links between poverty and environmental degradation and was a champion for rural women in particular. Her work was an inspiration for us all and she will be sorely missed.

Pesticide Action Network – Regional Centres AFRICA PAN Africa BP 15938, Dakar-FANN Senegal Tel: (221) 33 825 4914 Fax: (221) 33 825 1443 panafrica@pan-afrique.org www.pan-afrique.org

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ASIA/PACIFIC PAN Asia and the Pacific PO Box 1170 10850 Penang, Malaysia Tel: (60-4) 657 0271 Fax: (60-4) 658 3960 panap@panap.net www.panap.net

EUROPE PAN Europe is facilitated by PAN UK and PAN Germany www.pan-europe.info elliott@pan-europe.info PAN Germany Nernstweg 32 22765 Hamburg, Germany Tel: (49-40) 399 191022 Fax: (49-40) 390 7520 info@pan-germany.org www.pan-germany.org www.pan-international.org links to all PAN Regional Centres

LATIN AMERICA RAPAL (PAN Latin America) Coordinadora Regional Av. Providencia No365, depto. No41 Providencia, Santiago de Chile Tel/Fax: (56-2) 341 6742 rapal@rapal.cl www.rap-al.org NORTH AMERICA PAN North America 49 Powell St., 5th Floor San Francisco, CA 94102, US Tel: (1-415) 981 1771 Fax: (1-415) 981 1991 panna@panna.org www.panna.org

Autumn 2011

Who’s who at Pesticide Action Network UK Dr Keith Tyrell Director Nick Mole Policy Officer Stephanie Williamson Staff Scientist Geremew Tereda Accounts

Articles published in Pesticides News promote health, safety, environmental commitment and alternatives to pesticides as well as debate. The authors’ views are not necessarily those of the Pesticide Action Network UK. Initials at the end of articles refer to staff contributions to Pesticides News. Abbreviations and acronyms used ACP Advisory Committee on Pesticides CRA Comparative Risk Assessment EA Environment Agency (UK) EC European Commission EPA Environmental Protection Agency (US) EU European Union FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations FFS Farmer Field School FSA Food Standards Agency HSE Health and Safety Executive ILO International Labour Organisation IPM Integrated pest management LD50 lethal dose for 50% of population µg/kg parts per billion MRLs Maximum Residue Limits mg/l parts per million NGO Non government organisation OECD Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development OP Organophosphate (pesticide) PAN Pesticide Action Network PIC Prior Informed Consent PN Pesticides News UNEP United Nations Environment Programme

© Pesticide Action Network UK Please credit Pesticide Action Network UK when quoting articles ISSN 0967-6597 Printed on recycled paper


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Organic cotton

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No level playing field – uneven distribution of benefit in organic cotton Has rapid growth meant that the organic cotton sector has lost sight of long term vision and become too focussed on markets rather than farmers? Simon Ferrigno reflects on the challenges facing the organic cotton sector following the International Cotton Advisory Council’s 70th plenary meeting in September 2011. While the inclusion of a session on organic cotton at ICAC’s 70th plenary meeting is a sign of the progress that organic cotton has made in becoming accepted within the wider cotton sector, the fact that one panellist was able to highlight poor practices (Uganda) shows that the organic sector cannot be complacent and needs to improve its performance to the level of the best1. Growth in demand and supply are not the only criteria of success that the organic cotton sector needs to look at. While several participants at the ICAC meeting were positive about organic cotton in their countries there is also still scepticism about organic cotton and concern that its supporters sometimes tend to highlight 'false positives' rather than real data and that organic cotton – the pioneering solution to the negative impacts of some cotton practices initiated in the late 1980s – has become just another commodity. The IFOAM definition of organic agriculture (see box) certainly suggests that organic farming products are more than a commodity and the early pioneering programmes in organic cotton, including those established by PAN partners (Senegal and Benin) were usually established to address a range of issues beyond those concerned with the environment, such as poverty and social and economic development. However, demand for organic cotton has grown enormously in recent years (although the latest estimates suggest estimated production is going to be lower in 20112), and many

What is organic? The IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) basic standards state that 'Organic agriculture [also known as ‘biological’ or ‘ecological’ agriculture or protected equivalent forms of these words (in other languages)] is a whole system approach based upon a set of processes resulting in a sustainable ecosystem, safe food, good nutrition, animal welfare and social justice. Organic production therefore is more than a system of production that includes or excludes certain inputs.' (IFOAM, 2008)

new production programmes have been set up very quickly in response, usually on a contract farming basis, without always laying strong foundations in terms of farmer support, establishing good production methods, and so on. It cannot be taken for granted that organic cotton is always 'doing the right thing', and farmers and programmes have become more anonymous in the market. Furthermore, organic cotton faces the same challenges as the rest of the cotton sector: volatile markets, climatic conditions, and competition for land, water and energy. Increasingly, organic cotton must also affirm its distinct identity and value against other standards for sustainable cotton (Better Cotton, for example) and sustainable textiles such as recycled polyester (and competition against synthetic fibres is another similarity with the rest of cotton). The organic cotton sector needs to deal with internal challenges to protect its image, reputation and integrity, not by defining itself as 'not conventional' but by ensuring consistent approaches, for example, to training, research, premiums and farmer returns. It needs to address rumours of fraud, address downwards pressure on prices exerted by those with more power in the value chain3, try to address market volatility and insecurity, and change buying approaches from short term, opportunistic transactions to long term trading relationships of mutual benefit. Following low price problems, recent high prices for conventional cotton have led to much side-selling of organic cotton into conventional markets, a sure sign that farmers do not feel secure enough in their buyers and markets and so are chasing the best prices available. Organic cotton is a farmer first approach but has become a marketing tool (rather than a philosophy) for many brands. Yet organic cotton is uniquely placed to address those farmers increasingly excluded from intensive cotton farming, and particularly those for whom the promise of Bt cotton is mostly an unaffordable technology with an increased risk of debt. Where the early drive for organic cotton came from social entrepreneurs and NGOs,

Autumn 2011

the big drive in the 21st century has brought in more big brands but little coordination of the approaches to growing; the costs of long term investment are passed on to donors and promoting bodies, while many brands expect to buy organic cotton on a cost neutral basis. Many users of organic cotton are content to buy organic cotton from third parties without knowing who grows it; this makes it difficult for growers to invest despite the long term investment required to implement organic farming sustainably and for the long term. This is a process that usually takes five to seven years – at least. Instead we have seen a rash of quickly started and poorly supported operations based around contract farming models which offer little to farmers. As some in India call them, these are 'fly by night' operations. As the rest of the cotton sector improves its performance – led by the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) – the question is what the role of organic cotton is, if it is seen to be backsliding or just another commodity, albeit a slightly better but much more expensive one? Most development projects built around organic cotton are well designed and there is plenty of evidence that they deliver significant livelihood benefits, but there are some issues with a small number of projects. These include poor organisation, low farmer involvement and an increasing number of projects based on contract farming principles, with for example the ownership of certification not being with the farmers, restricting their ability to trade on their own behalf or with other crops; often these newer contract operations do not invest in extension, research or farmer support and development. In a significant number of programmes, farmers have not always had advance contracts before planting and in some rare cases contracts may not be received until after harvest if at all. Premiums paid to farmers often vary considerably and it is increasingly common to hear the existence of the organic premium being challenged. To be worthwhile for farmers and to address the needs of resource poor small farmers organic cotton needs to offer a fair return and to be productive – to ensure costs are low against yields and thus that the net return is good. Programmes based on volume gained by numbers of farmers getting very variable yields benefit the promoter and not the farmer, yet too many of the newer programmes do just that. The case of Uganda presented at the ICAC meeting illustrates the risks. Failures in organic cotton were laid at the door of overrapid expansion of organic cotton which was about numbers of farmers rather than investing in productivity and support – this meant low yields, declining soil fertility, and poor returns to farmers. While the situation may be more complicated than presented at the meeting problems such as this and concerns over integrity of organic cotton in India show how vulnerable an unregulated organic cotton sector is. The fact that many buyers are not devel-

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Organic cotton

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oping long term relationships means they have no incentive to supervise their suppliers or ensure that they are doing the 'right thing', and there is no international body in organic cotton enforcing good practice and good governance; many buyers do not know the source of their fibre making it hard to control integrity let alone impacts, and many simply operate on an assumption that organic is 'better'. In a smaller market, it was possible to rely to some degree on the values and motives of investors, producers and buyers because everyone knew everyone; information circulated well. In a bigger market, there need to be procedures, formal and informal, to ensure consistency of approaches and mechanisms for resolving problems and conflicts. Because the organic cotton sector is no longer alone, either as a sustainable cotton or indeed as a sustainable fibre, it no longer commands all the attention, either from buyers or donors. Funding is short, which makes research and promotion budgets even tighter. Indeed, for brands unwilling to commit to long term relationships with producers, recycled polyester has the advantage of being labelled 'sustainable' and of not having any farmers to worry about. There are also many claims made about cotton and organic cotton, including about water use and yields which make buyers even more wary. On water, it is common to hear claims that organic cotton needs even more water than conventional cotton, and that yields are lower because the system performs worse. There are, of course, counter claims – one would expect organic soils to be better and so retain more moisture, and yields may be lower for a variety of reasons – such as, the farmers are the most resource poor in the most degraded environments, or more farmers are women and so unable to pay as much attention to cotton because of other demands on their time, but counter-claims need to be backed up by research. Productivity is certainly a major challenge that needs to be answered. Organic cotton must be productive enough to absorb the costs of services and extension support as much as possible. Productivity improvement suggests a role for research – and perhaps government. Productive farming needs research into techniques, and breeding of high quality welladapted varieties as well as sufficient extension support. Yields vary widely around the world due to different investments and commitment by promoters and buyers as well as inherent production conditions or soils. In India there have been wide variations in yields, with some farmers seeing yields of only 100 kg/ha of lint. Yield however is not the only story when we look at the benefits or otherwise of organic cotton; we need to look at the output from the rest of the farm, especially food, net income and economic opportunities. There are few studies on organic yields or comparative studies showing how similar farmers in different production systems compare. In Africa, for example, farmers growing organic cotton may be the smallest and most resource poor farmers with low access to tools, animal

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Autumn 2011

Photo: PAN UK

or mechanical traction, credit and good land, and are often farmers who can no longer afford inputs to farm conventionally. However, organic cotton farmers with five or more years experience are often much more competitive.

Rebuilding foundations Much has been written in other sectors about supporting small farmers in commodity markets, and these are applicable in organic cotton as well. For example, information on production and markets, best practice, transparent and fair pricing, contracts, development of farmer organisations, new trading models. Sustainable business requires timely payment, and there are also calls for 'multistakeholder platforms for oversight and guidance'4 and improvements in 'Predictability (orders, contracts, price)'5. Organic cotton, to be a sustainable method of producing fibre, needs to be more than just 'environmentally friendly'. It needs to be productive, offering decent returns to farmers and efficient in terms of land use and for producing other crops, offering value to its farmers and to the wider world, such as opportunities to 'clean' air and water and reduce carbon footprints, for example. Organic cotton needs significantly more investment in research and development especially in seed breeding (most organic cotton farmers use the same hybrid seeds as other cotton farmers, when they need seed selected or bred to be more resistant to certain pests).

They also need to be able to ensure access to GM free seed. Organic cotton needs some guidelines on production and organisational models, better public and accessible information on prices including information on the costs of producing sustainably and guidance on best practice in trade, mechanisms for dispute resolution and reporting of problems, and a big push to eliminate short term buying and trading practices.

Simon Ferrigno is an independent consultant specialising in organic cotton systems www.sustainableorganicfarmsystems.co.uk. References 1. http://www.icac.org/meetings/plenary/ 70_buenos_aires/documents/os3/ 2. Textile Exchange Mid-year Farm and Fiber Predictions Report Textile Exchange, 2011. 3. Ferrigno S, Costing the Earth http://www.ecotextile.com/index.php?Itemid=2&optio n=com_content&view=article&id=10755:featurecosting-the-earth&catid=112:materials-productionpremium accessed 3 October, 2011. 4. Proctor F, Regoverning Markets Programme: with focus on the business sector in inclusive modern agrifood markets, Conference on Rural Economic Development April 8-9, 2008 DANIDA, Copenhagen, Denmark. 5. Potts J, with Fernandez G and Wunderlich C, Trading Practices for a Sustainable Coffee Sector: context, strategies and recommendations for action Sustainable Coffee Partnership and IISD Manitoba 2007.


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Obituary

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Wangari Maathai’s final journey Nobel laureate and Environmental Visionary Wangari Maathai died in September this year. Francesca de Gasparis, Director of the Green Belt Movement Europe pays her respects. Saturday morning 8 October 2011 was grey and cool - clouds covering the sky. We started out early into central Nairobi to say goodbye to the Green Belt Movement founder and Nobel Laureate 2004 Wangari Maathai. We gathered to pay our respects to Wangari at Freedom Corner in Uhuru Park where Wangari had famously fought former President Moi and his government to prevent a 62 storey skyscraper destroying the park – one of central Nairobi’s only public spaces. This was in the early 1990s during Moi’s dictatorship which did not accept transgressions. Wangari wrote letters to the US and UK governments asking if they would allow a high rise to be built in Central park or Hyde Park. Needless to say the funding for the skyscraper was withdrawn. Wangari had a way of bringing seemingly complex issues to light in a simple and compelling way that appealed to people’s conscience and inspired action. This paved the way to a much bigger civil society movement with many more battles waged by Wangari and others. Wangari’s fight for democracy and protection of public goods especially the forests saw her beaten and imprisoned on several occasions, but ultimately lead to democratic elections in 2002 and later her Nobel Peace Prize.

Freedom Corner Lest we forget! was named after Wangari and the Green Belt Movement’s efforts to protect public spaces in Kenya. Later Freedom corner became a place of memorial where Wangari planted trees with visiting dignitaries from around the world including Barack Obama, Gordon Brown and many others. In due course, that Saturday the great and the good of Kenyan society, and then the hearse with family and supporters, arrived at Freedom Corner. The gathering was half State funeral with Heads of State, dignitaries, pomp and circumstance and military bands. And half what Wangari had wanted: a multi-faith presence, prayers and thoughts from a few closest colleagues and friends, the planting of an African olive tree by her children and grandchild, and a wonderfully hand-crafted bamboo and water hyacinth coffin with a fern on top. Wangari had finally found a suitable use for water hyacinth – the scourge of many East African lakes – and even in her death ensured that not a single tree was cut unnecessarily. Special moments that Wangari would have loved were when rural women from the Green Belt Movement sang a eulogy as the tree was planted and girls from Wangari’s old high school each stood with a tree seedling in their hands. Planting trees

Photo: Micheline Pelletier

Barbara Dinham, ex-Director of PAN UK with Wangari Maathai

was, and still is, the first step of the work of the Green Belt Movement in rural communities – it is the entry point which takes people down a path towards understand the value of the natural environment and our individual roles in breaking the cycle of poverty and environmental degradation. As Wangari put it ‘by protecting of the environment, we ensure our own future and that of future generations’. As six buglers played the final note for Wangari, tears flowed from the Green Belt Movement staff. I am sure others were thinking, as I was, how hard it is to say goodbye and feeling a sense of disbelief that someone so present and vital could be gone. Finally Wangari’s family were joined by President Kibaki, Prime Minister Odinga and others who lined up by the hearse as a final salute to Wangari. Then the Heads of State and dignitaries moved off and the hearse slowly drove out on the road to the crematorium. The three kilometre journey to the crematorium took over two hours as we crawled along at slower than walking pace. The streets and sidewalks of Nairobi were thronged with people, marking her passing, paying their last respects to Wangari who we all affectionately called ‘Prof”. It was a moment where you could feel how Prof’s life and presence had affected so many Kenyans, many of whom had never met her, but whose lives she had touched and changed. In life this was one of her many gifts, which together with her ability to express her perspective made her a powerful advocate for the environment. It was a fitting tribute to a leader and visionary who despite her global reach and authority was happiest when she was planting a tree with the rural people in the highlands of Kenya. To find out more about the Green Belt Movement and our campaign to honour Wangari Maathai – ‘I am the Hummingbird’ please visit our website www.greenbeltmovement.org

Francesca de Gasparis, Director, Green Belt Movement Europe, francesca@greenbeltmovement.org

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GM crops

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When less equals more – the rapid rise of weeds resistant to glyphosate Many weeds are becoming resistant to the herbicide glyphosate undermining the case for some crops that have been genetically engineered to tolerate glyphosate. Pete Riley from campaign group GM Freeze provides a timely update of the scientific evidence ‘Just spraying Roundup was so easy … There is no ease anymore.’ Mark Nelson US Farmer of Roundup Ready (RR) soya beans, Paola, Kansas Weeds resistant to glyphosate now cover vast areas in the US, and there is a sense of panic amongst weed scientists as to how to deal with the problem that is quickly overwhelming Monsanto’s Roundup Ready (RR) soya, maize and cotton crops. The promise of fewer pesticides and simpler weed control is a thing of the past. Despite the indisputable signs that nature is winning the pesticides arms race in these crops, the ag-bio corporations are set on using yet more chemicals, often in mixtures, and tying in farmers with contracts that leave them no option but to follow. But Monsanto’s once impregnable position as market leader for GM seeds and the herbicides used on them is now under threat, even to the point that one investment advisor is recommending selling the company’s shares giving, ‘The company's overdependence on glyphosate and glyphosate tolerance, at a time of increasing need for weed treatment to move away from that molecule,’ as one of four reasons1.

Exponential growth in resistance to glyphosate

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‘We are facing the exponential expansion of this weed.’ Robert Nicols of Cotton Incorporated speaking of Palmer amaranth at the Pig Posium organised by the University of Arkansas in 2011. Glyphosate resistant weeds are found on every continent in circumstances where weed control has become overly dependent on this herbicide. Figure 1 shows the geographical spread of the 21 weed species with proven resistance. Glyphosate resistance was first confirmed by weed scientists in Victoria, Australia, in Rigid Ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) in 1996, more than 20 years after the chemical was first marketed by Monsanto as Roundup. In 2010, two new weed species joined the list of glyphosate resistant weeds – Blue grass (Poa annua) in Missouri, and Australian

fingergrass (Chloris truncate) in New South Wales. In addition, new locations for eight other resistant species were confirmed in 2010, and four in 2011 (to September)2. The rise in glyphosate resistance is occurring against a background of accumulating scientific evidence that exposure to glyphosate and Roundup can cause harm to human health, wildlife and soil/plant interactions3. The US stands out as the country where resistance is most common, with 13 resistant species in over 70 locations covering an estimated 4.5 million hectares of arable land. US weed scientists are clear that the reason for this sudden escalation from zero in the mid 1990s is: ● the rapid adoption of RR crops ● the almost total reliance on glyphosate for weed control in RR crops ● a high level of complacency amongst farmers growing RR crops in adopting measure to slow the spread of resistant weeds. ‘Most of the documented cases of evolved GR [glyphosate resistant] weeds in the past six years have been in GR crops.’ Stephen Duke, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture and Stephen Powles, University of Western Australia4. Complacency arose from the erroneous assumption that glyphosate’s mode of action made it an unlikely candidate to development resistance5. Farmers in the US made little or no concerted effort to prevent resistance developing, preferring to believe that it either would not happen6 or that the pesticide companies would produce a new herbicide in time to deal with the problem7. Between 1992 and 2007 glyphosate use in the US rose eightfold8, largely as a result of the growth in RR crop cultivation. Other impacts of this dependency are being seen. For example, a recent US Geological Survey concluded that 1% of glyphosate sprayed in the study areas ended up in surface waters. Glyphosate and AMPA, its breakdown product, ‘were frequently detected in the surface waters of four agricultural basins.’9 Some levels were above the limit of 0.1µg/litre set for pesticides in drinking water by the EU.

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Troublesome weeds In the early years of RR technology, glyphosate proved to be effective in controlling troublesome weeds and was therefore attractive to farmers because it made weed control simpler and cheaper. However it was those same troublesome weeds that first developed resistance to glyphosate10, for instance: ● Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) in maize cotton and soybeans in the US since 2005. In North Carolina, estimates put the number of sites infested at up to one million ● Horseweed (Conyza canadensis) in cotton, soybeans and maize since 2000 and in soybean in Brazil in 2005. Up to 100,000 sites are infested in Delaware alone ● Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) in soybeans Argentina (2005) and USA (2007). Current estimates are that up to 100,000 acres are infested in Argentina.

Palmer amaranth The first glyphosate resistant Palmer Amaranth in RR cotton was confirmed in Macon County in North Carolina in 2004. In 2010, a cotton industry expert told cotton farmers, ‘We are facing the exponential expansion of this weed.’11 The same speaker identified three affects of allowing resistance in Palmer amaranth to go unchecked: ● increased complexity and cost of weed control in cotton and soya ● compromising conservation tillage in the short-term and possibly long-term ● possible cascade of resistance of resistance in post emergence broadleaf herbicides. He also confirmed that the mechanism for the development of resistance to glyphosate in the weed was different in different locations, suggesting that the problem was not solely one of pollen or seed movement but could spring up spontaneously anywhere glyphosate was over-used. It is also not unknown to get two different weed species with glyphosate resistance in the same field, adding to the complexity of weed control12.

Roundup Ready volunteers Volunteers are crop plants which come up in following crops from seeds deposited during harvest or by wind, birds and animals. When they are tolerant to the same herbicide as the crop, they are impossible to eradicate other than by hand pulling. Glyphosate resistant volunteer plants can cause problems in other RR crops, for instance RR maize in RR soya, and chemical control is not currently an option. The appearance of RR canola volunteer plants in RR sugar beet crops in the US was a surprise. This problem arose because seeds were transported in the stomachs of migrating geese from Canadian canola fields to US sugar beet crops – gene transfer over hundreds of miles. The farmer concerned had no other option than to hand pull the GM canola plants13.


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GM crops Monsanto’s strategy An earlier article in Pesticides News describes the Monsanto approach to dealing with resistant weeds and maintaining their market share for seeds and herbicides sales14. During late 2010 the company’s plan swung into action. Monsanto published a guide on how to deal with the growing weed resistance problems in RR crops15 and has developed a strategy to limit the impact of glyphosate resistance based on three approaches involving the use of different combinations of herbicides and timing of applications: ● the first method is the use of tank mixtures of glyphosate and other herbicides (for example, 2,4-D was recommended for marestail16 pre-sowing of RR crops to ‘burn down’ weeds). ● the second approach is to produce GM seeds with several herbicide tolerant (HT) genes (gene stacking) by crossing GMHT varieties with different tolerant genes. Different herbicides can then be applied to the growing crop in rotation or in tank mixes to ensure that weeds which are resistant to glyphosate will be killed by other herbicides. For instance, Monsanto have announced an agreement with the German pesticide and biotechnology company BASF to develop crops stacked with glyphosate and dicamba tolerant genes17. ● the third method is to use herbicides that remain active in the soil (residual herbicides, or residuals), which kill seedling weeds as soon as they germinate. Monsanto has secured co-operation with other companies to include their soil residuals in their ‘weed management platform’ and charge farmers more for the privilege. In October

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2010, the FMC Corporation agreed to allow their ‘Authority’ herbicides to be used with RR crops as part of Monsanto’s offer to farmers struggling with resistant weeds18. These residual soil acting herbicides are based on sulfentrazone in combination with other herbicides depending on the formation. Previous to this Monsanto also announced a link-up with the Valent Corporation’s subsidiary, the Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd, to include flumioxazin based residual herbicides in the RR soya ‘platform’19 in South America. On the same day Monsanto signed a similar agreement with the Makhteshim Agan Group20 to use their herbicides. Earlier in 2010, Monsanto received approval to use an Acetochlor based formulation for early emergence weed control in cotton crops21. Therefore, farmers buying soya, maize and cotton seeds in the future will also buy into this weed control platform. This is vital for Monsanto to maintain sales of RR seeds and Roundup. In RR crops the advertised ‘less pesticides’ applications would now appear to equal more pesticides applications.

Rivals step in The declining effectiveness and rising costs of RR crop management has opened the door for other biotechnology corporations to challenge Monsanto’s dominance of the US seed and herbicide markets. Recently Dow Chemical Company announced it has applied for a GM soya bean with three stacked herbicide tolerance genes for glyphosate, glufosinate and 2,4-D, as a rival to RR soya22. Dow hopes that this technolo-

Figure 1. Number of locations (dark) and weed species (light) with resistance by country

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gy, called Enlist, will be approved by 2013. The company also plans a second version of Enlist that drops the glyphosate tolerance gene, with the aim to get the double stacked gene onto the market by ‘mid decade’. Bayer CropScience and weed scientists in the USA are pushing glufosinate ammonium tolerant crops (previous called LL, for Liberty Link, but now branded as Ignite) to tackle the troublesome weeds because (at present) there are no weeds resistant to it23. This is hardly surprising given the relatively low level of use (compared to glyphosate) since the herbicide was first marketed in 1993. Bayer have launched a campaign called ‘Respect the Rotation’24 aimed at giving the company a big slice of the herbicide crop and associated herbicide markets. This is based on rotating crops with GM tolerance to different herbicides. However what is proposed goes further than this, providing further proof that the days of cheap and simple weed control have gone. Farmers are required to: ● monitor weeds in fields very closely ● burn off all weeds in field before planting ● apply herbicide correctly at the right time and right dose ● control ‘escaped’ weeds by spot applications, row wicking, cultivation or hand weeding ● prevent weeds from setting seeds ● clean all equipment to prevent resistant weed seeds being transported between fields and farms One of the risks of the rotation of different herbicide tolerant crops is that they could be mistakenly sprayed with the wrong herbicide, which would cause a complete loss of the crop. This problem may add another layer of complexity – coloured flags in fields! Bayer are proposing that fields with GM crops with different herbicide tolerances should be marked with coloured flags to avoid them being sprayed with the wrong chemical mixture25. Ironically the colour chosen by Bayer for Roundup Ready crops is white; for Ignite is green; and for conventional crops is red.

Long-term solutions

Source: International survey of herbicide-resistant weeds: http://www.weedscience.org/Summary/ UspeciesMOA.asp?lstMOAID=12&FmHRACGroup=Go

Glyphosate resistant weeds should have forced a re-think about relying on chemical weed control and the monocultural approach which dominates world crop farming. So far, there is no sign that it is occurring in areas worst hit by glyphosate resistant weeds because the biotech corporations are pushing complex chemical based solutions. Agroecological methods of weed control are based on crop rotations, crop breaks, the use of grazing, mechanical and hand hoeing to prevent pernicious weeds going to seed and judicious use of cultivation. Weed control in most crops in the mid west of the USA is likely to be with chemical herbicides in the immediate future

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GM crops although elements of an agroecology approach are being adopted by some farmers faced with spreading weed resistance. The lesson from RR crops is that weeds will always beat chemicals in the pesticides arms race – the only dependable answer is to respect and use agroecological approaches to weed control.

Pete Riley is Campaign Director at GM Freeze; info@gmfreeze.org

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References 1. Zerinskas MJ, 2011. Gilford Securities Reiterates Sell Rating on Monsanto (MON) http://www.benzinga.com/analyst-ratings/analystcolor/11/02/891991/gilford-securities-reiterates-sellrating-on-monsanto-mon 2. International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds 2011a, Glycines (G/9) Resistant Weeds by species and by country. http://www.weedscience.org/Summary/UspeciesMO A.asp?lstMOAID=12&FmHRACGroup=Go 3. Greenpeace International and GM Freeze,2 011. Herbicide tolerance and GM crops- why the world should round up glyphosate. See http://www.gmfreeze.org/site_media/uploads/public ations/Herbicide_tolerance_and_GM_crops_lo_res. pdf 4. Duke SO and Powles SB. 2008 Glyphosate: a once-in-a-century herbicide. Pest Management Science. 64: 319-325. 5. Roundup Ready Corn 2 fits how you farm. Asgrow and Dekalb. See www.asgrowanddekalb.com/web/products/corn/trait s/roundup_ready_corn_2.jsp 6. Beckie, HJ, 2006 Herbicide –resistant weeds; management tactics and practices. Weed Technology 20:793-814. 7. Green JM, Hazel CB, Forney DR and Pugh LM,2006. New multiple-herbicide crop resistance and formulation to augment the utility of glyphosate. Pesticide Management Science 64: 332-339. 8. Coupe RH, Kalkhoff SK, Capel PD and Gregoire C, 2011. Fate and transport of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid in surface waters of agricultural basin. Pesticide Management Science, 67, doi: 10.1002/ps.2212. 9. Coupe RH, Kalkhoff SK, Capel PD and Gregoire C, 2011. Fate and transport of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid in surface waters of agricultural basin. Pesticide Management Science, 67, doi: 10.1002/ps.2212 10. Powles SB,2008 . Evolved glyphosate-resistant weeds around the world: lessons learnt. Pesticide Management Science 64; 360-365. 11. Nichol R, 2011. Pigweed Resistance: How much? To what? And where? Presentation to the Pig Posium organised by the University of Arkansas. See www.youtube.com/ watch?v=T2wTlzixSG8 12. Steckel L,2011. New technology and the future of pigweed control. Presentation to the Pig Posium organised by the University of Arkansas. See www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_iJhIGtOJM&feature =related 13. See Mike Hart’s film GM crops Farmer to Farmer www.gmcropsfrmertofarmer.com 14. Riley P, 2010 Resistant weeds cast a shadow over glyphosate –resistant crops Pesticides News 87: 3-5. 15. Monsanto, 2010. Technology Use Guide 2011The Source of Monsanto’s Portfolio of Technology Products, Stewardship Requirements and Guidelines for Use. 16. Monsanto, 2008. Management Guide for Maretails. November 2010 http://www.monsanto.

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Pesticides Forum – 15 years and still going strong The Pesticides Forum – a UK government initiative to bring together stakeholders to share best practice around pesticide use – was 15 years old in October. James Clarke, the Forum’s Chair reflects on its progress. The main feature of the Pesticides Forum is that it enables open discussion from the whole spectrum of people and organisations interested in the way pesticides are used. As a result its greatest achievement is the ability to ensure that all those involved – from regulation, manufacture, use, the supply chain for fresh produce, and consumers – have a much greater understanding of all the issues surrounding use. The result is that we believe we have provided an important forum to inform and educate on the impacts from the use of pesticides and what can be done to keep those impacts to the very minimum. Another significant achievement of the Forum is the development of indicators and ongoing monitoring and reporting of information to ensure that best practice and minimal impacts continue. Since the Forum was created in 1996, Pesticide Action Network has sought to encourage the Forum to consider ways of reducing the impacts from the use of pesticides and seeking alternatives to synthetic chemicals. The first representative (Peter Beaumont from the then ‘Pesticides Trust’) was very active within the Forum. Subsequent members from PAN have continued to play a leading role both in meetings and events and encouraging greater application of integrated approaches to agricultural practices. The increased deployment of integrated approaches is an aim shared by the vast majority of the Forum’s member organisations. As far back as 1997 the Forum urged

the then Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food to fund research and knowledge transfer on pesticide minimisation and also to encourage Government to usefully explore ways of providing financial incentives to farmers and growers to take up integrated techniques, such as through agrienvironment schemes. Several of these goals have been achieved and the Forum should take some credit for these, which are also now reinforced by the Sustainable Use Directive. The future challenge is to continue to encourage the development of integrated approaches whilst trying to double food production in this country to support the estimated population increase to nine billion by 2050. More than ever, this will require organisations with breadth of experience, like the Forum, to lead in raising awareness of approaches such as Integrated Crop and/or Farm Management (ICM/IFM) and ensuring that use is monitored and improved to continue to minimise undesirable impacts. The precise plans for the future of the Pesticides Forum are still developing (The Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive requires the development of a National action Plan and encourages liaison with key stakeholders). If the Pesticides Forum does continue in a similar role I’m sure it will continue to be at the forefront encouraging ever greater use of all integrated approaches, and hopefully PAN will be as involved as ever in those discussions.

com/weedmanagement/Documents/Marestail.pdf 17. Monsanto, 2010. BASF and Monsanto Announce Progress in Dicamba Formulations. 2 Nov, 2010 Press release. 18. Monsanto, 2010. Monsanto, FMC Corporation Announce Crop Protection Collaboration With the Roundup Ready PLUS™ Weed Management Platform. 22 Oct, 2010 Press release 19. Monsanto 2010, Monsanto, Sumitomo Chemical and Valent Announce Long-Term Crop Protection Collaboration.19 October 2010 Press release. 20. Monsanto, 2010. Monsanto and Makhteshim Agan Announce Strategic Crop Protection Collaboration Crop Protection Leaders Bring Together Makhteshim Agan's Proven Molecules and Monsanto's Weed Management System. 19 October 2010 Press release. 21. Monsanto 2010. Monsanto Company Receives Approval for New Acetochlor Herbicide Formulation 2 February 2010 press release.Monsanto, undated, Glyphosate Resistant Weed Biotypes. See

http://www.monsanto.com/weedmanagement/Pages/ Glyphosate-ResistantWeedBiotypes.aspx 22. Dow,2011. Dow AgroSciences, M.S. Technologies Submit for Approval First Ever Three-Gene Herbicide-Tolerant Soybean. http://www.dow.com/news/corporate/2011/2011082 2a.htm 23. See Bayer CropScience USA http://www. bayercropscience.us/our-commitment/respect-therotation 24. Bayer CropScience, Respect The Rotations. Preserving Herbicide Technology http://www.bayercropscience.us/ourcommitment/Documents/RtR%20onepage%20handout.pdf 25. Bayer CropScience 2011, Respect the Rotation: Glyphosate-Resistant Weeds One Year Later See http://www.bayercropscience.us/news/pressreleases?storyId=6fb6bb8e-69ed-4a47-87956e6896ef0204


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African initiatives

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‘DriftCatcher’ pilot with smallholders in Senegal In 2010 PAN Africa started an air sampling project with villagers in the main vegetable growing zone of Senegal, to test whether spray drift was affecting families living close to cultivated fields. Marie Suzanne Traoré reports on the results. PAN Africa has worked for many years with smallholder vegetable growing communities in the Les Niayes zone, near Dakar, which produces the bulk of Senegal’s horticulture crops for domestic and local markets. We have documented considerable pesticide poisonings in the zone among untrained farmers [PN71, pp12-13, PN85, pp3-4] and collaborated on training over 2,000 smallholders in organic and IPM methods as a safer alternative [PN84, pp12-15]. Nevertheless, a large proportion of the national annual pesticide usage of 500,000 litres and 1,500 tons solid formulations is applied in the Les Niayes zone, contaminating the environment and threatening the health of farm families and other residents. Following a training course we received from PAN North America (PANNA) on community-based air sampling to assess spray drift contamination; PAN Africa decided to conduct a small trial in Les Niayes. We used the ‘DriftCatcher’ mobile

sampling kit pioneered by PANNA in recent years to monitor airborne pesticide contamination among rural communities living close to heavily sprayed fields in the US [PN73, pp12-13].

Training communities in using the DriftCatcher We collaborated with local agricultural extension services and farmer organisations the Niayes Zone Horticulture Producers Confederation (FPMZN) and the Women’s Federation for Integrated Rural Development (FEDRI) to select two villages for conducting the air sampling based on the following considerations: ● vegetable plots known to be sprayed frequently with pesticides during the cropping season ● fields close to houses and pasture (to assess risks of indirect exposure of humans and livestock living close by) ● easy access to electricity (the

Autumn 2011

DriftCatcher needs to be plugged into an electricity supply for each 24 hour sampling period) Two villages in the district of Sangalkam were chosen to lead the activities of the project: South Deni Biram Ndao and Gorom 1. Both villages are about 45 km northeast of the capital, Dakar, and its important vegetable markets. Both villages comprise around 2,0002,500 inhabitants in 225 and 284 households respectively, most of which carry out market gardening, while cattle rearing is also important in South Deni Biram Ndao. Vegetable farmers in these villages had not received training in IPM or organic methods and were broadly representative of conventional pesticide practices in the smallholder sector. A pilot ‘dry run’ of the air sampling was conducted in Déni Guedj village in May 2010, to check the sampling methodology and correct application of procedures (site for setting up the DriftCatcher; electric power source; keeping the equipment safe; accurate recording of sampling and packing/labelling the samples for collection by PAN Africa ). At the same time, PAN Africa ran a practical demonstration of how to operate the DriftCatcher with four farmer leaders of vegetable growing groups at the three village sites. The pilot testing helped to identify minor problems and address these by revising written protocols in French and discussing with the leaders of each farmer and women’s group participating. At the start of the 2010-2011 horticulture season, representatives from each village were trained how to use the ‘Drift Catcher’ equipment using a hands-on ‘Learning by Doing’ methodology, over three sessions covering: ● familiarisation with DriftCatcher, its components, their functions and maintenance ● practical ‘apprenticeship’ in installing the device ● practice in how to turn off the device after the end of each sampling period, how to package samples for transport to the laboratory and prepare record notes to go with each sample.

Survey of frequently used pesticides

PAN Africa staff Marie-Suzanne Traoré (right) and Bamba Sagna (striped T-shirt) check that farmers are using the air sample collector correctly, during pilot sampling. Photo: PAN Africa

A list of the most commonly used pesticides was drawn up via a short survey in 2010 to identify the main pesticides used by vegetable farmers. The questionnaire survey was applied via face-to-face interviews with 49 vegetable growers from the two villages selected for air sampling, collecting data on compounds used, frequency and timing of application. This data was essential to collect before sampling, as the laboratory chosen for doing the analysis must be able to measure the most frequently sprayed pesticides at very low concentrations. The ten most commonly applied pesticides identified from our survey were: dimethoate; methyl parathion; carbofuran;

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Table 1. Pesticides commonly applied in the vegetable growing region of Les Niayes, Senegal

10

Active ingredient

Status in CILSS

Status in European Union Member States

Hazard criteria in PAN International Highly Hazardous Pesticide (HHP) list

Carbofuran

Not authorised

Banned for farming use for health and environmental reasons.

High acute toxicity (WHO Class Ib) Inhalation risk for operators (EU) Endocrine disruptor (EU) Highly toxic for bees (US EPA)

Chlorpyrifos

Authorised

Authorised for farming use. Risk reduction measures required to protect birds, mammals, aquatic organisms, honeybees and non-target arthropods.

Highly toxic for bees (US EPA)

Deltamethrin

Authorised

Authorised for farming use. Special attention to operator safety, including protection measures. Risk reduction requirements for aquatic organisms, honeybees and non-target arthropods.

Endocrine disruptor (EU) Highly toxic for bees (US EPA)

Dimethoate

Authorised

Authorised for farming use. Special attention to operator safety, including protection measures and individual PPE. Risk reduction measures required to protect birds, mammals, aquatic organisms, honeybees and non-target arthropods.

Possible carcinogen (US EPA) Endocrine disruptor (EU) Highly toxic for bees (US EPA)

Endosulfan

Not authorised

Banned for farming use for health and environmental reasons. Notified by EU to PIC Convention.

Inhalation risk for operators (EU). Endocrine disruptor (EU)

Fenitrothion

Authorised

Banned for farming use for health and environmental reasons. Notified by EU to PIC Convention.

Endocrine disruptor (EU) Highly toxic for bees (US EPA)

Malathion

Authorised

Authorised for farming use. Possible carcinogen (US EPA) Special attention to operator safety, including protection Endocrine disruptor (EU) measures and suitable individual PPE. Highly toxic for bees (US EPA) Risk reduction measures required to protect insectivorous birds, aquatic organisms, honeybees.

Maneb

Authorised

Authorised for farming use. Risk reduction measures required to protect birds, mammals, aquatic organisms, honeybees and non-target arthropods.

Probable carcinogen (US EPA) Endocrine disruptor (EU)

Methyl parathion

Not authorised

Banned for farming use for health and environmental reasons. Notified by EU to PIC Convention

High acute toxicity (WHO Class Ia) Inhalation risk for operators (EU) Endocrine disruptor (EU) PIC List chemical

Methomyl

Not authorised

Authorised for farming use. Special attention to operator safety, including protection measures and suitable individual PPE. Risk reduction measures required to protect birds, mammals, aquatic organisms, honeybees and non-target arthropods.Table

High acute toxicity (WHO Class Ib) Endocrine disruptor (EU) Highly toxic for bees (US EPA)

malathion; endosulfan; deltamethrin; chlorpyrifos; fenitrothion and methomyl (all insecticides) and the fungicide maneb. Table 1 summarises their hazard characteristics and approval status in Senegal and in the EU. Senegalese pesticide registration is conducted under the Sahel regional regulatory body, CILSS, for the nine member countries in West Africa. The joint CILSS pesticide registration system aims to ensure judicious use of pesticides, as well as the protection of human health and environment within Senegal and the other member states. However, our survey shows that of the 10 most frequently applied pesticides, four are not authorised

for use in the CILSS region: carbofuran, endosulfan, methyl parathion and methomyl. This finding demonstrates serious problems in enforcing regulatory controls in the region, including cross-border movements of pesticides. Surveyed farmers are using four pesticides banned in the EU due to their harmful impacts on health and environment. As for the six other pesticides: which do have EU approvals, their use has to follow strict risk reduction measures, as outlined in Table 1. While European farmers may comply with these measures, this is certainly not the case in Senegal where the majority of farmers do not even own individual PPE and pesticides

are handled without precaution, putting farming communities, consumers and ecosystems at risk. All ten pesticides documented appear on PAN International’s list of Highly Hazardous Pesticides1.

Sampling regime and results Sampling started in the second fortnight of December 2010, in tandem with the start of vegetable cultivation after the rainy season. To make communication easier between the village partners and PAN AFRICA, at each sampling site a group of four farmers was chosen as the contact point and charged


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African initiatives with correct installation and upkeep of the DriftCatcher kit and its security. The prior survey showed that crops are sprayed, on average, once a week. We decided to sample weekly over 24 hours in a series of five samplings at each site until the end of March 2011. Village representatives alerted PAN Africa when spraying was scheduled and we helped them to set up the DriftCatcher the following day and then collected the samples and refrigerated them before sending by air freight to PANNA’s collaborating laboratory in California, EMA, certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The lab analysis in April-May 2011 employed standard multiresidue screening for organochlorine, organophosphate, pyrethroid and carbamate pesticides at low levels of Limit of Detection. Lab analysis did not detect pesticide residues in any of the air samples collected from either South Deni Biram Ndao or Gorom 1 village. One possible reason for the absence of any detectable air contamination when pesticides had been sprayed the previous day is that none of the ten most frequently used pesticides exhibit high volatility. Highly volatile pesticide compounds are more likely to drift during and after application and are therefore more likely to be detected by the DriftCatcher equipment. Medium volatility pesticides may drift but generally will not be detected unless the sampling kit is operating within 0.24 miles. Low volatility compounds are only likely to be detected if air is sampled during their application. From our list, chlorpyrifos, endosulfan, malathion, methomyl, methyl parathion and fenitrothion are medium volatility compounds, the others are low volatility. Our conclusion is that this physical characteristic is the most likely explanation for the negative results. The sampling process illustrated some difficulties in using the DriftCatcher in rural communities in developing countries, notably the need for a continuous and reliable electricity supply during its operation. Finding suitable sockets nearby was not easy and sampling was disrupted more than once by failure of the mains supply, a common occurrence in Senegal. We had to hire a small generator to overcome this persistent problem in Gorom 1 village.

Conclusions While the DriftCatcher sampling failed to identify any residues of commonly used pesticides in the air samples collected, the project still delivered important benefits. Firstly, the training sessions allowed farmers in the three villages to gain a much better understanding of the potential harm caused by pesticide use and how unsafe pesticide practices can contaminate air, water, soil, food and drink, as well as pose a health risk to farmers, workers and their families. It also drew awareness to the highly hazardous characteristics of the most commonly used pesticides in Les Niayes

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Bamba Sagna, PAN Africa, helps leaders of the Deni Guedj women’s and farmer groups to set up the air suction pump on the DriftCatcher. Photo: PAN Africa

and to continuing problems of illegal use. Participating villagers have committed to take part in community-based monitoring of health effects and are keen to receive training in safer methods of pest management. Secondly, the data provide useful inputs to relevant Senegalese authorities concerned with regulation and use of pesticides, highlighting problems of non-compliance which need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Poor handling practices and reliance on hazardous compounds continues to put the health of Les Niayes farming communities and their natural resources at risk. While spray drift may not be an important exposure route in the peri-urban market gardening context, use of badly maintained knapsack sprayers and practices such as mixing spray solution and washing

spray equipment near water courses and shallow artesian wells certainly poses high risk to soil and water ecosystems and possibly to livestock. Thirdly, PAN Africa hopes that the project will stimulate more investment by the government, donors and the food sector in promoting IPM and organic horticulture production and marketing to benefit domestic producers and consumers.

Marie Suzanne TraorĂŠ is Project Officer at PAN Africa; mariesuzanne@panafrique.org ; www.pan-afrique.org 1. PAN International List of Highly Hazardous Pesticides. December 2010 revised version. Via: http://www.pan-germany.org/download/PAN_HHPList_1101.pdf

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Biological control

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Biological control in Brazil Brazil's megabiodiversity and long history in the use of biocontrol mean that a wide variety of arthropod and microbial natural enemies are available for use in pest and disease management. Vanda Bueno describes successes in different cropping systems, benefits obtained in terms of pesticide reduction and cost savings, and explores some of the factors which help or hinder wider uptake of biocontrol by Brazilian farmers. Before the large-scale application of chemical pesticides, biological control was one method of pest management embedded in a systems approach of pest prevention and reduction. Biological control involves the use of ‘natural enemies’: beneficial insects and other invertebrates which prey on or parasitise insect pests; certain types of fungi, bacteria or other microorganisms which feed on insect pests or on crop disease-causing agents; and vertebrate predators. Augmentative biological control is the mass and regular release of beneficial arthropods or microorganisms in crops in order to boost naturally occurring levels of these natural enemies. It is commercially applied to 0.16 million km2 worldwide. This equates to just 0.4% of the cultivated land with a cost:benefit of 1:2-5 in various cropping systems around the world1. Farmers are increasingly adopting augmentative biological control as a response to the growing resistance of insect and mite pests to insecticides and acaricides. Biological control by conservation is also on the rise. This involves farm management actions that protect and stimulate the performance of naturally occurring nat-

ural enemies in and around farmers’ fields. Augmentative biological control has a number of important advantages over chemical control including: no phytotoxic effects on young plants, no early abortion occurs on fruit and flowers; the release of natural enemies takes less time and can be preferable to applying insecticides; several key pests can be controlled only by natural enemies; there is no waiting period after the release of natural enemies which allows a continued harvest with no damage to the workers’ health involved in the process, and no problems with waste and to the environment2. Brazil is one of a few countries worldwide that has been classed as having ‘megadiversity’. Brazil has a long history of biological control and between 1921 and 1944, a series of programmes introduced natural enemies to target certain pests3. Biological control was further boosted in the 1970s with the creation of departments of entomology and biological control at universities and research institutes4. Between 1990 and 2000, some 24 species of natural enemies were introduced across Brazil. These parasitoids, predatory insects and mites were used for pest control

Table 1. Commercialised arthropods controlling insect pests in Brazil

12

Natural Enemies

Target (pests)

Cotesia flavipes

Diatraea saccharalis

Trichogramma galloi

Diatraea saccharalis

Trichogramma atopovirilia

Spodoptera frugiperda

Trichogramma pretiosum

Tuta absoluta, Pseudoplusia includens, Plutella xylostella

Neoseiulus californicus

Panonychus ulmi, Tetranychus urticae, Polyphagotarsonemus latus

Phytoseiulus macropilis

Tetranychus urticae

Phytoseiulus longipes

Tetranychus urticae, Tetranychus evansi

Stratiolaelaps scimitus

Bradysia spp., Collembola, soil mites, thrips (pupae)

Podisus nigrispinus

Forest defoliators

Orius insidiosus

Thrips

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri

Armored scales

Trichogramma parasitoid wasps are important natural enemies

on pastures, sugarcane, wheat, tomato and on citrus orchards5. By 2003, augmentative biological control was being used on about 1.32 million hectares6. Although no current (and more accurate) data is available, there has been a considerable increase in the application of biological control over the past eight years with the bulk of the expansion taking place in the south east of the country. In this region, biological control programmes are being conducted both in small and large areas in various crops in the field and in greenhouses. Meanwhile, entomopathogenic agents, especially the fungal biopesticide Metarhizium anisopliae are widely used in the north east and mid west regions. There are about 21 companies producing arthropod natural enemies, 19 companies producing fungi and viruses and 13 companies producing microbial antagonists, which can outcompete undesirable microorganisms such as common diseasecausing fungi. The commercialised arthropods which feed on insect pests in Brazil are shown in Table 1. Brazil has an area of around nine million ha cultivated with sugar cane. The most important commercial natural enemy against the sugarcane borer Diatraea saccharalis is the wasp Cotesia flavipes which parasitises borer larvae. This large biological control programme involves the annual release of the larval parasitoid to control the sugarcane borer in an area of about three million ha. The wasp parasitoid is released at a rate of 6000 parasitoids/ha. Brazil has several private companies producing C. flavipes and laboratories operating in sugar and alcohol production plants; the most prominent one is located in Sao Paulo State, which produces about three million of parasitoid C. flavipes per year. Data from the Sugarcane Technology Center (Coopersucar) located in Piracicaba-SP shows significant success in controlling sugarcane borer using C. flavipes: from 1980 to 2005 approximately 16.9 billion C. flavipes adults were released on 3.17 million ha at an average cost of US $ 4.2 per hectare avoiding the use of 951,000 litres of


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Biological control

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Table 2. Results from biological control of sugarcane borer using the larval parasitoid Cotesia flavipes from 1980 to 2005 ● ● ● ● ● ●

reduction of infestation level of D. saccharalis from 11% to 2.6%; release 16.90 billion of Cotesia flavipes adults; release on 3.17 million of hectares; save: US$ 57 million or 951,000 liters of insecticides; costs of biological control: US$ 12.1 million; average costs per ha of biological control: US$ 4.2

Source: Sugarcane Technology Center, Brazil.

insecticides (Table 2). A second important natural enemy that is commercialised and used as a biological control agent in several crops is the egg parasitoid Trichogramma spp., with a production of 15 to 20 billion Trichogramma per year. This parasitoid is released in an area of approximately 500,000 ha. The main species that are released as biological control agents are T. galloi (against sugar cane borer D. saccharalis eggs in approximately 400,000 ha of sugarcane), T. pretiosum (against Tuta absoluta in tomato crops and Plutella xylostella in crucifers plants in approximately 100 ha) and T. atopovirilia (controlling Spodoptera frugiperda in maize in > 50,000 ha) (Table 1). Defoliator caterpillars in Eucalyptus forest areas are controlled through the small scale use (approximately 95 ha) of predatory stink bugs, primarily the species Podisus nigrispinus and Brontocoris tabidus. Forest companies with a private laboratory located in Minas Gerais state are mass rearing around 20,000 predatory bugs a month and releasing on average 2,000 predators/ha. In Minas Gerais state from 1989-2005 approximately 3,076,683 predatory adult bugs were released. Even small organisations are developing biocontrol expertise. In Parana state a small cooperative produces the egg parasitoid Trissolcus basalis to control stinkbugs, such as Nezara viridula, which are a problem pest in soybean crops in the south of the country. The citrus industry has employed the parasitoid Ageniaspis citricola to control the citrus leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella. From 1998 to 2004 approximately one million wasps were released in citrus orchards in the areas of the Sao Paulo state and as a result the P. citrella infestation decreased from 0.70% in 1999 to 0.13%. The predatory ladybird beetle Cryptolaemus montrouzieri is also used on a small scale in citrus orchards against the mealybug pest Planococcus citri. This predator and its larvae have an average consumption of 30 mealybugs a day. The release rate is 5-25 adult ladybirds per mealybug infestation and focused in 1-5 plants in each plot (around one ha), as this predator is more effective at high prey densities. The parasitoid Diachasmimorpha longicaudadata, that attacks a range of fruit flies such as Anastrepha spp. and Ceratitis capitata, was introduced in Brazil for the biological control of these pests. From 2001 to 2004 about 12 million pupae of D. longi-

caudata were released in the citrus areas of Sao Paulo State. In 2000 around 18 million D. longicaudata pupae were distributed all over Brazil, and a further four million were sent to French Guyana. From 2003 to 2004 about 20 million were released in the Amapa State (Amazonas region) and one million in Parana State (South region). From 1995 to 2004 a total of around 206 million D. longicaudata pupae were produced to control the fruit flies Anastrepha and Batrocera carambolae. This programme was conducted by governmental research institutions. Fungal control agents are also being produced particularly in the sugar and alcohol production sector. Brazil has a major bioethanol industry. Private companies are producing the fungal biopesticide Metarhizium anisopliae, to act against spittlebugs like the leafhopper Mahanarva posticata and the froghopper Mahanarva fimbriolata that are found in around one million hectares of sugar cane. Other fungal biopesticides used are Beauveria bassiana and Lecanicillium lecani against pests on several crops. The commercialised biopesticides based on microorganisms in Brazil are showed in Table 3. The use of the virus B. anticarsiae in Brazil against the soybean caterpillar Anticarsia gemmatalis increased from 1983 to 2004, reaching an area of two million ha of soybean; by 2011 however the area in use had decreased to 300,000 ha. This drop in the use of biological control is related to the increase in the area cultivated with soybean and also the lobbying of the chemical industry in Brazil. The data from the year 1999 shows that the virus was used in about 10% of the cultivated soybean area in Brazil, guaranteeing an economy superior to R$ 5 million per year. However if the use

Autumn 2011

of biological control was extended to all cultivated area with soybean (11 million of ha), the value would exceed R$ 50 million per year (1 US$ = 1.77 R$). The total area under protected cultivation (greenhouses and polytunnels) in Brazil is about 30,000 ha and most of this area is used for the production of ornamentals. The biological control of pests in greenhouses is being conducted mainly in the regions of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais States, on ornamentals and strawberry crops. Efforts are underway to promote the use of biological control programmes for greenhouse crops. Currently, the predatory mite Neoseiulus californicus is used on a small scale to control the spider mite Tetranychus urticae in strawberry, rose, gerbera daisy and chrysanthemum crops, as well as in peach and apple orchards. The predatory mite Stratiolaelaps scimitus is used to control fungus gnat larvae Bradysia matogrossensis in citrus seedling production and in nurseries on several ornamental plants, such as azalea, anthurium and in mushroom production. In addition, the predatory bug Orius insidiosus is used on a very small scale against thrips in chrysanthemum, potted gerbera, roses, and strawberries7. In general biological control in Brazil has been used by farmers with large plantations, but it is also used by small and medium scale family farmers. In some cases, these small and medium scale farmers have been working together in co-operatives and through these co-operatives are starting to mass rear natural enemies and distribute them to the farmers who are members of the co-operative. The mass rearing of the predatory mite Neoseiulus californicus against the red mite Panomychus ulmi is an example of this cooperation between apple farmers in Southern region in Brazil. They have built facilities for the mass rearing of the predatory mite in order to implement augmentative biological control of the apple red mite. The biological control was started in an area of 600 ha of apple orchards in 2001/2002 and increased to 7,200 ha in 2008. The biological control of the red mite showed a saving of US$ 85 per hectare when compared to the conventional

Table 3. Commercialised entomopathogenic organisms in Brazil Fungi

Targets

Crops

Metarhizium anisopliae

spittlebugs

Sugarcane, pasture grass

Beauveria bassiana

Banana weevil, T. urticae, rubber-tree lace bug

Banana, papaya, rubber-tree

Sporothrix insectorum

Rubber-tree lace bug

Rubber-tree

Virus

Targets

Crops

Baculovirus anticarsiae

Soybean caterpillar

Soybean

Bacteria

Targets

Crops

Bacillus thuringiensis

Lepidoptera, Diptera

Several crops and public health uses

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Biological control use of chemical control. The reduction of acaricides use for control of the red mite was around 97%. Biological control is also increasingly being used to deal with plant diseases in Brazil. Different species of the antagonistic fungi Trichoderma, are being used against the disease-causing microorganisms including Fusarium, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Macrophomina, Sclerotinia, Sclerotium, Botrytis, and Crinipellis permiciosa in bean, soybean, cotton, tobacco, strawberry, tomato, onion, garlic, ornamentals and cacao crops over about 500,000 hectares. The fungal biopesticide T. asperellum targets soilborne pathogens Sclerotinia, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia and Macrophomina in soybean, bean, and cotton crops in approximately 25,000 ha. This fungal biopesticide is used on seed and soil treatments and can be sprayed by tractor, airplane and central pivot. The cost of biological control is about US$ 30 dollars/ha with the use of Trichoderma while the cost of fungicides is about US$ 75 dollars/ha. The bacterial biopesticides Bacillus subtilis and B. lechiniformis are used against the nematodes Meloidogyne incognita, M. javanica, Pratylenchus brachyurus and P. coffeae in potato and carrots crops. In the year 2008 more than 12,000 kg of Bacillus spp. (2x1010) was commercialized for nematode control in potato and carrot crops, and was applied by irrigation and seed treatment (5 to 10 kg/ha) a cost of US$ 160300/ha.

The future of biological control in Brazil

14

In 1998, Brazil imported US$ 1.2 billion in pesticides, and from 1984 to 1998 there was an increase of 700% in the use of active ingredients. In 2009, Brazil ranked as number one in the world for use of pesticides, using 673.9 million tons of the formulated product at a value of US$ 7.125 billion. The crops with the highest pesticide use in descending order are: tomato, potato, citrus, cotton and coffee crops. Tomatoes, receive on average 52.5 kg of active ingredient/ha. Several pests are present both in greenhouses and in fields and they are still largely controlled by chemicals. However, this situation is changing and there are several stimuli for the adoption of biological control strategies as an IPM component, not only for export markets, but also as a mainstream sustainable plant protection method in greenhouses. According to Celli, the use of IPM can provide new commercial opportunities for growers as a result of ‘green labels’ that provide certification for environmentally-safe production techniques and lack of pesticide residues on fruit. In order to minimise the effect of pesticides on fruit and ornamental production and to ensure production sustainability, two guidelines were published for the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (Ministério da Agricultura,

Pesticides News 93

Pecuaria e Abastecimento – MARA) with provisions on General Guidelines and Technical Regulations for Integrated Fruit (FIP) and Ornamentals production, in order to allow the production of quality fruit crops with the minimum of environmental contamination. As outlined above, biological control of pests and disease is widespread in Brazil, although application is still limited considering the area under crop production. In many cases, produce are destined for the local market and are not subject to any controls regarding pesticide residues; the situation of the export market however is quite different. There are several stimuli that are pushing growers to use fewer pesticides and adopt more sustainable methods to protect plants, and biological control is becoming a reality with great promise for all involved in agriculture and food production. Research in Brazil has concentrated on the use of native natural enemies, or on natural enemies that were introduced to Brazil a long time ago. This stems from concerns over the environmental risks of imported natural enemies and also because native or naturalised natural enemies are well adapted to the environmental conditions of Brazil. The use of augmentative biological control is increasing in regions throughout Brazil, and it is likely that use will continue to grow in the future, both in Brazil and across the world. There are several incentives for the use and implementation of new biological control programmes: ● Brazil has enormous biodiversity, and many natural enemies (beneficial insects and mites) occur and have proven to be good natural enemies for biological control, or are available to be evaluated and used as biological control agents. This may mean it is possible to control the majority of pests with native natural enemies ● high interest by the farmers, because of the development of resistance of pests to pesticides and demands from the export market for reduced pesticide use. However, additional measures are needed to increase the use of biological control in Brazil: critical analyses of possibilities for biological control (addressing the lack of commercial availability of natural enemies, and lack of biological control technology transfer), a more critical government approach and a more professional approach by industry. There are enormous possibilities for biological control, but they are seriously frustrated by lobbying from the chemical pesticides industry and a total lack of governmental support. With Brazil’s high ranking for pesticide use across the world, it is necessary that steps are taken to change this. The pesticide industry considers biological control as cumbersome and of restricted use, most farmers have become reliant on pesticides during the past 60 years, governmental institutions do not enforce or stimulate non-chemical pest control and

Autumn 2011

many regulations concerning the collection and application of biological control agents delay or even prohibit their use. Recent developments however may lead to a promising future for augmentative biological control. In addition to the ever-growing number of pests that are becoming resistant to pesticides (resulting in a need for alternative control methods), the requirements of residue free food by supermarkets and the prioritisation of the use of IPM by governmental institutions like the European Union, along with the termination of pesticides subsidies, will all improve the conditions for biological control. After 60 years of chemical control, we are entering the ecology-based pest management era8. The most realistic possibilities for growth of a biological control market in Brazil are in controlling pests on sugarcane crops, as still there are 6 million ha available for biological control and it involves a very simple system for mass rearing and commercialisation. The other major opportunity is in soybean crops, as there are millions of hectares and it also involves a simple system and programme that has been used. Maize, cotton, orchard and greenhouse crops are more complicated systems but are still great possibilities for the use of biological control. Despite its problems, augmentative biological control plays an effective role in programmes of IPM worldwide and there is no doubt that Brazil will play a great role in increasing the area of cropland under biological control, both in greenhouse and field conditions. References 1. Van Lenteren, J. C. 2009. IPM in greenhouse vegetables and ornamentals. In: Radcliffe, E. B., Hutchison, W. D. and Cancelado, R. E. (eds.), Integrated Pest Management. Cambridge University Press. 2. Van Lenteren, J. C. 2012. The state of commercial augmentative biological control: plenty of natural enemies, but a frustrating lack of uptake. Biocontrol (DOI 10.1007/s10526-011-9395-1) 3. Gomes, J. 1962. Histórico do controle biológico no Brasil. Boletim do Instituto de Ecologia e Experimentação Agricolas 21: 89-97. 4. Van Lenteren, J. C. & V. H. P. Bueno. 2003. Augmentative biological control of arthropods in Latin America. BioControl 48: 123-139. 5. Parra, J. R. P. & Consoli, F. L. 2009. Criação massal e controle de qualidade de parasitóides de ovos. p. 170-197. In: Bueno, V. H. P. (Ed.), Controle biológico de pragas: produção massal e controle de qualidade. Editora UFLA, Lavras, 429p. 6. Op cit 5. 7. Bueno, VHP. & Poletti, M. 2009. Progress with biological control and IPM strategies in protected cultivation in Brazil. IOBC/WPRS Bulletin 49: 3136. 8. Op cit 3.

VHP Bueno, Laboratory of Biological Control, Department of Entomology, Federal University of Lavras, P.O. Box 30 37, 37200-000 Lavras/MG, email vhpbueno@den.ufla.br


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International row over sponsor of 2012 London Olympic Games An international row has erupted over one of the sponsors for the 2012 London Olympic Games. On the night of 2-3 December 1984 the Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) pesticide plant began leaking deadly gases onto the people of Bhopal in India. The immediate death toll is estimated to have been in the region of 2,500 people with the total number of deaths attributed to the leak estimated to be 25,000 with as many as 125 000 still suffering from the effects of the deadly gas. The site has never been properly cleaned up and continues to this day to poison the people of Bhopal. In 2001 the US based company Dow Chemical purchased Union Carbide thereby acquiring its assets and liabilities. However Dow Chemical has steadfastly refused to clean up the site, provide safe drinking water, compensate the victims or disclose the composition of the gas leak, information that doctors could use to properly treat the victims1. Given the appalling behaviour of Dow in regard to their responsibilities to the people of Bhopal it is alarming that the London 2012 Organising Committee

(LOCOG) have allowed Dow to be a major sponsor of the London Olympics in a deal worth £7 million. The agreed deal gives Dow exclusive marketing rights to advertise themselves and have their logo appear in all photographs in the run up to London 2012. Concerns have been raised by a number of UK MPs about whether Dow meets the London 2012 ethical code. It was reported in the Independent newspaper that following an initial discussion between the Chair of LOCOG, Lord Coe, and two MPs where Lord Coe failed to convince them of Dow’s suitability, Dow officials have now been asked to a further meeting to discuss the issue2. In India there have been calls for a boycott of London 2012 if the Dow sponsorship deal is allowed to go ahead. An organisation that works for the victims of the Bhopal tragedy, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan wrote a letter to the Indian Prime Minister calling on him to appeal to the UK Government and LOCOG to drop the sponsorship deal or face an Indian boycott of the games3. In the Independent report, Barry

‘Big 6’ agrochemical companies indicted for crimes against humanity From 3-6 December 2011, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) will convene in Bangalore, India, to hear cases brought against six multinational agrochemical companies who stand accused of violating human rights by promoting reliance on the sale and use of pesticides known to undermine internationally recognised rights to health, livelihood and life. Known as the ‘Big 6’, the indicted agrochemical corporations are Monsanto, Dow, BASF, Bayer, Syngenta and DuPont. Collectively, these companies control 74% of the global pesticide market, making the pesticide/agricultural biotechnology industry one of the most consolidated sectors in the world. The World Bank estimates that 355,000 people per year die of unintentional pesticide poisoning1. ‘The aim of taking the Big 6 to the PPT is to give a voice to the otherwise voiceless victims of pesticides around the world who have suffered as a result of the relentless promotion of highly toxic substances by these multinational companies,’ said Nick Mole, PAN UK Policy Officer. Cases from the UK and Europe will focus on the loss of bees due to neonicotinoid pesticides developed and sold by

Bayer; Graham White, a beekeeper said, ‘Bee losses in the UK and Europe have been catastrophic, with over a million colony deaths since 1993; there is a massive body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence from European universities, which indicates that neonicotinoids are having a lethal impact on bees and other pollinating insects. It is high time that the companies that manufacture these toxic pesticides are held to account for the damage they have done.’ Cases from the UK will also focus on the damage that has been done to the health of UK citizens by organophosphate (OP) pesticides, most notably sheep dips. In the UK many hundreds of individuals and their families have had their lives devastated by exposure to OP pesticides and have had no recognition or compensation for their suffering. ‘We hope that by taking these companies to the PPT we will raise the issue of OP poisoning in the UK and bring to the attention of the public and politicians the suffering that has been caused’ stated Elizabeth Sigmund of the Organophosphate Information Network. During the course of the tribunal, Pesticide Action Network will invite witnesses including scientists, medical doc-

Autumn 2011

Gardiner MP, chair of Labour Friends of India, is quoted as saying: ‘Its (Dow’s) failure to take the victims of Bhopal and ongoing contamination into account is particularly ironic given the UK Government had to spend £12.7m cleaning up the Olympic site, which was ‘grossly contaminated’ by toxic waste’4. PAN UK stands by the victims of the Bhopal tragedy and fully supports calls for the removal of Dow as a sponsor of London 2012. PAN UK does not believe that Dow should be allowed to ‘greenwash’ itself in this way whilst ignoring its responsibilities to the victims of one of the world’s worst industrial catastrophes. For more information on the Bhopal tragedy or the Dow sponsorship row please visit the website of the Bhopal Medical Appeal www.bhopal.org/ References 1. http://www.bhopal.org/what-happened/ 2. http://www.independent.co.uk/ sport/ olympics/why-has-chemicals-firm-been-given2012-deal-mps-ask-coe-6256173.html 3. http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/ indiamust-boycott-london-games-if-dowsponsors_739509.html 4. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/ olympics/why-has-chemicals-firm-been-given2012-deal-mps-ask-coe-6256173.html

tors, and lawyers, to prove the charges through expert testimony on pesticides, genetic engineering, intellectual property rights, and other subjects germane to the cases at hand. The PPT will also hear testimony from farmers, farm workers, beekeepers, mothers, young people, scientists and consumers from around the world. The defendants will be served and summoned to offer their perspectives and responses. Also under indictment are the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organisation; these entities are charged with facilitating corporate concentration of power through their policies and programs. Additionally, the governments of Switzerland, Germany, and the United States – the home nations of six defendant companies – have been indicted for colluding with, and failing to regulate, corporate power. The verdict from the hearing will be given on 6 December. References 1. World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007)

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Controlling pesticide poisoning in Lake Eyasi Basin, Tanzania Strategies to increase farmers’ capacity to farm sustainably and productively can greatly enhance both public health and profits. Vera Ngowi reports how a project to raise awareness of pesticide hazards in the Lake Eyasi Basin in Tanzania succeeded in improving the livelihoods of the communities involved. Data on the incidence of pesticide poisoning in Tanzania are rare and unreliable1 and there is a dearth of information on the quantities, safety, types and intensities of exposure to pesticides at all levels. However, owing to financial constraints and to competing research interests, the monitoring of pesticides and their health impacts on farmers and the public is neglected in many developing countries. The burden of pesticide related illness and injury is therefore difficult to determine since many cases of pesticide poisoning remain undiagnosed and/or unreported2. This study assessed pesticide surveillance in agricultural areas in the Arusha region of Tanzania. The region has 1.5 million inhabitants of whom 80% live in rural areas and depend on agricultural activities for their living. The population is located in five districts composed of 120 wards with 360 villages. Agriculture is the main occupation, followed by animal keeping, and a few engage in business and mineral prospecting. There is high pesticide use in both horticulture and other food crop farming and there is a large number of pesticide retailers (about 111)3. Lake Eyasi basin in Karatu district was selected for the study because it is an area where extensive farming is conducted with intensive use of pesticides all year round and where the local community had come forward to request community-based monitoring in the area. Lake Eyasi Basin has two wards and is located in Karatu District. Four villages out of six, known to utilise pesticides intensively, were selected

from the two wards to participate in the study and these included; Quang’dend, Mbuga Nyekundu, Mang’ola Barazani and Maleckchand. A key element of the project was the establishment of a community self-surveillance system to empower the community and help them decide on safer and reliable options for pest control.

Establishing the surveillance system Following preliminary discussions with the district authority, ward and village leaders, the surveillance system included: ● preparation of teaching materials ● selection of surveillance population ● training

Preparation of teaching materials Flip charts and markers were used to draw body maps and write notes. Pesticide labels were borrowed from retail shops nearby to read. Forms for self reporting designed by Murphy4 were translated into Kiswahili and used.

Selection of surveillance population With the help of village leaders, farmers known to use pesticides were approached and asked to participate in the study to establish the surveillance; about 40 agreed to self-report during the entire duration of study (four months). In addition a management team composed of at least five community members and two school pupils

Table 1. Trained self-reporting farmers and management team members, Lake Eyasi, April 2010

16

Container in the drum used to remove spray mixture Photo: Tapohe

Village

Trained individuals* Males Female

Mbuga Nyekundu Quang’dend Maleckchand Mang’ola Barazani

32 19 28 28

8 22 14 11

40 41 42 39

107

55

162

*Self reporting farmers, community management teams

Totals

Sprayer filling his pump using the container fished out of the drum by Photo: Tapohe

was established in each of the study villages. A community member qualified as a team member if they lived close to selfreporting farmers. Each village team member was responsible for 5-10 self-reporting farmers.

Training Before training, the majority of farmers were unaware of health and environmental impacts of the chemicals they use. They reported diverse poisoning symptoms that were not associated with pesticide exposure. Many farmers did not know the environmental impact of pesticides or understand what was written on the label. Some only read the label to find out the trade name of the product and its expiry date. The self-reporting farmers were invited for a training meeting with the management teams. The two day training session was held in each village where the farmers and management teams were introduced to the relationship between health and environment, and existing pesticide legislation as well as direct and indirect costs of pesticides. They were then carried through exercises to explore signs and symptoms of pes-


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Table 2. Farmer interpretation of trade and common names on labels Trade name

Common name

Names used by farmers

Dimethoate

Dimethoate

Organophosphorus 40% w/w

Dume

Dimethoate

2 pam au atiopine

Helarat

Lambda-cyahalothrin

Helm

Mukpar Dimethoate 40% EC

Dimethoate

- Organo phosphorus insecticide - Insecticide - Prosphiorous

Murphamine 72%

Not on 2007 register

- Dichlorophenoxy - Amina elective weed - Selective weed killer

Ninja 5EC

Lambda-cyahalothrin

- Lambda - Contains 5%

Ogor

Not on 2007 register

Emulsifiable concentrate

Profecron

Profenofos

Composition EC 720

Pyrinex 48 EC

Chloropyrifos

Class II Glarajail

Rondopaz

Glyphosate

Herbicide Kiuagugu

Roundup

Glyphosate

HE 150 Guarantee

Tafgor 40 EC

Not on 2007 register

Insecticide

Thionex 35 EC

Endosulfan

-Commercial and Agricultural P.D 5/09/E.D 05/11 - Symptomatically

Weedal 480SL

Glyphosate

Active Ingredients

ticide poisoning using body maps and reading pesticide labels to identify trade and common names. They finally practiced filling in the data collection form which asked for basic information about the farmer (name and contact of farmer, gender), spraying activities (spray session, crops sprayed, name of pesticide sprayed, quantity and spray duration) and signs and symptoms of pesticide poisoning experienced within 24 hours of pesticide handling.

the irritant effects of pesticides. moderate: clearly defined potential neurological effect resulting from cholinesterase inhibition ● serious: serious neurological effects (loss of consciousness, seizure) ●

Reporting and data analysis At the end of each week, the forms were collected from the households or village offices and checked for completion, accu-

Autumn 2011

racy and consistency. Data analysis was kept simple, done manually by the management teams that included school pupils, aged 14 – 18. Each month a community meeting was held with the self-reporting farmers to hear the results of their work. At this time, farmers were asked about their experience with the reporting and were questioned about signs and symptoms to ensure they understood their meaning. During the meetings the data was analysed to identify trends and associations.

Results and discussion About one third of the participants trained to take part in the self reporting and management were women. The majority of the 162 farmers who participated in the training could not read a pesticide label or fill in the self-reporting form. During the training sessions, farmers expressed keen interest in learning how to read pesticide labels and how to recognize signs and symptoms of pesticide exposure. Farmers in Lake Eyasi basin rely on pesticide dealers and peers to make decisions on what type of pesticides to use, dosage and combination to apply to their crops. The agricultural extensionists were few, one per village with no facilities to reach the farmers. The extensionists were not sensitive to the impact of pesticides on health and the environment; they were basically trained to promote use of pesticides to enhance agricultural production. Pesticide labelling as a hazard communication method is not effective because the farmers, who are the end users in Lake Eyasi, use the labels to identify recommended products and their expiry dates and are not familiar with hazard symbols or precautionary statements. Farmers were shown how to read labels and asked to identify common names/active ingredients on labels. Many farmers could not identify common names of pesticides on the label (Table 2). Some came up with names such as ‘Active

Operation of the pilot surveillance At the end of training, each farmer was given blank forms and asked to fill out a form after each time s/he sprayed and hand it over to a respective Management team member or deposit it in the village office. The information recorded included name; gender (if female, specify if pregnant); address; date; spray event number (for the month); crops sprayed; list of pesticides used; number of tanks used; and hours sprayed. Any sign or symptom experienced during or up to 24 hours after spraying had to be circled on the body map that showed 31 potential signs and symptoms associated with pesticide poisoning. (Any other effects not on the body map could be written in.) These signs and symptoms were classified as minor, moderate, or severe as defined below: ● minor: vague, ill defined, or results of

Empty pesticide containers disposed of on farms

Photo: Tapohe

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Table 3. Pesticides reported in use, their WHO classification and health effects in Lake Eyasi basin, April-July 2010 Trade name

Common name

Type

WHO Class

Alpha

unknown

unknown

unknown

Bayfolatan

unknown

fungicide

Celcron

profenofos

exp

Dip

chlorfenvinphos

acaricide

Dithane M45

mancozeb

fungicide

Dudual

cypermethrin+chlorpyrifos

Insecticide

Dume

dimethoate

Insecticide

Dursban

chlorpyrifos

Endosulfan

II

Health effects*

CI SE, C

II + II

SE, PC, CI

Insecticide

II

CI

endosulfan

Insecticide

II

SE

Fenom C

profenofos + cypermethrin

Insecticide

II + II

CI, SE, PC

Fenom Plus

profenofos + λ-cyhalothrin

Insecticide

II + II

CI, SE

Galgal

oxyfluorfen

herbicide

Helarat

λ-cyhalothrin

Insecticide

II

SE

Karate

λ-cyhalothrin

Insecticide

II

SE

Mo-Selecron

profenofos

Insecticide

II

CI

Mukpar

unknown

unknown

Polytrin

profenofos + cypermethrin

Insecticide

II

CI, SE

Profecron

profenofos

Insecticide

II

CI,

Profit

profenofos

Insecticide

II

CI

Selecron

profenofos

Insecticide

II

CI

Suba

unknown

unknown

Thionex

endosulfan

Insecticide

II

SE

*CI = Cholinesterase Inhibitor; C = Carcinogen; PC = Possible carcinogen; SE = Suspected endocrine disruptor (ILO, 2005)

Ingredient, Composition EC 720, Emulsifiable Concentrate’ suggesting a language problem. The labelling format was not standardised, making it difficult to train farmers on how to recognise the active ingredient or common names on the label. It was even difficult for the trainers to locate the names that were either presented as Guarantee, Active Ingredient or Common name. When asked about the meaning of pictograms on labels and warning signs, the participants could not interpret them. A label is among the requirements, submitted together with a dossier and sample, for a pesticide to be registered for use in Tanzania. If a label

does not meet the required standard a pesticide can be denied registration, however implementation of legislation can be a significant problem.

Application of pesticides The pesticides used in Lake Eyasi have the potential to cause acute and chronic effects (Table 3). Pesticide handling practices in Lake Eyasi were hazardous, with farmers applying pesticides in combinations, with the potential for high exposures (Table 4). The common combination was Dursban + Selecron + Profectron + Fenom C that was actually chlorpyrifos + profenofos + profenofos + (profenofos + cypermethrin).

Table 4. Pesticide mixtures commonly applied on onions, Lake Eyasi, April–July 2010

18

Trade name

Common name

Type

Dursban + Selecron + Profectron + Fenom C

Chlorpyrifos + profenofos + profenofos + profenofos + cypermethrin

Insecticide

Thionex + Polytrin + Selecron

Endosulfan + profenofos + cypermethrin + profenofos

Insecticide

Fenom Plus + Profecron + Dursban

Profenofos + lamda cyhalothrin + profenofos + chloropyrifos

Insecticide

Autumn 2011

Exposure days The farmers worked out 52 risk days/year, as the majority (73%) of 120 farmers applied pesticides once a week and fewer (18%) applied the pesticides twice a week. The long duration of spraying (2-10 hours a day, at an average of 100 litres/day) coupled with weather conditions and spraying frequencies created a high exposure potential. Farmers also used hazardous practices that could exacerbate the health and environmental problems. Signs and symptoms reported, could be attributed to pesticides exposure. Exhaustion, dizziness, headache and itching were the most common throughout the study period and although they could be caused by other conditions such as malnutrition, malaria and other common ailments. Spraying and illness episodes are correlated.

Conclusions This six month study of community selfsurveillance showed that the ability to identify pesticide hazards was low in the Lake Eyasi community and that there was an increased burden of illness due to indiscriminate pesticide use among farmers. Pesticide labels were not adequate in communicating hazards to the community. The mixing of same type of insecticide or different insecticides in one spray is hazardous and uneconomical. Firmer action on pesticide hazards is required to complement traditional approaches of pesticide legislation and safe use campaigns. The community self-surveillance approach was well received in the community and requires implementation for a longer time and on a wider scale so as to bring about change. The frequency of self-reported pesticide poisoning signs and symptoms is high hence the need to draw up action plans to reduce pesticide use and improve on creation of awareness and campaigns on safe and sustainable pest control in Lake Eyasi Basin. The reporting of moderate and severe signs and symptoms is an indication of serious pesticide exposures. References 1. Ngowi AVF. Health Impact of Exposure to Pesticides in Agriculture in Tanzania. PhD Thesis, Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 890, University of Tampere, 2002. 2. Op cit 1 3. AGENDA, Pesticides and Poverty: Case Study on Trade and Utilization of Pesticides in Tanzania: Implication to Stockpile AGENDA Publication 2006. 4. Murphy HH, Hoan NP, Matteson P, Abubakar AL. Farmers' self-surveillance of pesticide poisoning: a 12-month pilot in northern Vietnam. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2002 JulSep;8(3):201-211.

Vera Ngowi, Executive Director of Tanzania Association of Public, Occupational and Environmental Health Experts (Tapohe), Tanzania; vera2ngowi@yahoo.co.uk


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Italy’s neonicotinoid bans help bees Italy introduced a ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on maize in 2008 in response to concerns that they were behind worrying declines in bee populations. Three years later and bee populations are recovering while maize yields are unaffected. Henriette Christensen reports. In a letter sent to the European Parliament Agriculture Committee on 8th July 2011 the Italian bee health monitoring network APENET presented its findings on the benefits to bee health of restricting the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in the production of maize crops. The letter was sent in order to feed evidence into the Agriculture Committee’s deliberations on a report on bee health. The report which has yet to be finalised should be available later this year. In September 2008, the Italian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture decided to apply the precautionary principle, and suspended use of the neonicotinoid and systemic insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam, imidacloprid and fipronil on maize treated seeds. This has been a continuous suspension running through 2009, 2010 and up until at least the autumn of 2011. APENET is the official Italian monitoring network which was established by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture in order to monitor the results of the ongoing suspensions on pesticide treated maize seeds and the effects on bee deaths, pest attacks and productivity in maize. APENETs monitoring is composed of surveillance modules, with at least one mod-

ule for each Region and Autonomous Province. Every module consists of five stations (apiaries), each of which is in turn made up of 10 hives, located in representative geographic areas of each Region. To date, the network is composed of 20 modules, 94 apiaries and 940 hives. The function of the monitoring network is to gather information on the health status of the bee families contained within the modules by means of periodic surveys and subsequent laboratory analyses performed on the different samples collected (dead bees, live bees, brood, wax, pollen). In addition to routine analyses at pre-established dates, the programme also specifies that special surveys, sample collection and analyses should be carried out at any time if abnormal mortality is reported. So far, the results of the monitoring carried out by APENET have shown that notifications of bee deaths in maize growing areas reduced to zero during the sowing period March – April 2009 compared to 185 cases that were notified in the spring of 2008 and that there were no bee deaths notified in the years following in relation to the sowing of maize. The results have also shown that the losses in Italian winter beehives have declined from 37.5% in 2007-2008 to

Autumn 2011

around 15% in 2010-2011. The monitoring has supported the theory that bees can come into contact with bee toxic pesticides in a number of ways and at many different times throughout the year. In particular the dust emitted by seeding machines can be lethal to bees if they come into direct contact with it. It has also established that even very low dose ingestion of these pesticides by bees can cause damage to their brains. Other potential sources of exposure for bees include the exudates of plants in their early growing stages which, mixed with morning dew, provide a water source for bees. Residues of systemic pesticides have also been found in pollen and nectar following seed treatments, an indication that sources of nutrition for bees are also contaminated with pesticides. Of further concern is the long persistence of imidacloprid in the soil. Research has shown that imidacloprid residues can remain in the soil at a high enough level to be taken up by non-seed treated plants for up to a year. APENET monitoring has also established that using maize seeds that are not treated with neonicotinoid and systemic bee toxic pesticides has had no negative effect on the yield and productivity of the maize crops in the areas monitored. More than 180 fields were monitored in most important Italian maize producing regions. No major ground-based pest attacks were observed even without using treated seed (also due to the precautionary suspension). The presence of visible attacks (below 10% of plants, with no impact on overall production) affected less than 3% of the sample. These results are statistically fully in line with a damage risk below 1%, as demonstrated by previous research. The conclusions from the work of APENET should be heeded by the regulatory authorities: banning these maize treated seeds has reduced bee deaths and application of crop rotation has kept pest attacks under control while allowing yields to remain unchanged. PAN UK believes that the evidence from the APENET work provides grounds for an immediate suspension on the use of bee toxic systemic neonicotinoid pesticides. The Co-op retail group has already introduced a partial restriction on the use of some neonicotinoids in their supply chain. In the absence of any kind of meaningful action from DEFRA, PAN UK is urging other retailers to follow this example and remove neonicotinoids throughout their supply chains. This would be a huge step towards protecting bee and other pollinator populations.

Henriette Christensen is a Policy Officer with PAN Europe, henriette@paneurope.info

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European issues

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What are UK supermarkets doing about pesticides? Supermarkets wield a huge amount of influence over growers, produce traders and consumers, including issues of pesticide use. PAN UK is often asked ‘which UK supermarkets are the best on pesticides’? Our first comparison, published in 2009, triggered considerable interest by retailers and ethical investment trackers. Manmeet Kaur and Stephanie Williamson report on PAN UK’s 2011 updated assessment. PAN UK believes it is important to monitor the policies and performance of retailers on several pesticide issues, in order to support and encourage positive change and to let consumers and investors know which are the poor performers. In 2009 we conducted a study1 comparing the 10 main supermarkets operating in the UK on their policies, plans and actions on a range of pesticide issues important to concerned consumers [PN 83 p13]. Two years on we felt it was necessary to revisit our comparison, looking for progress. We also decided to include some other crucial areas to assess individual supermarket performance.

Methodology

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To conduct this comparison we sent out a questionnaire to the nine major UK supermarkets to find out about their relevant policies and interventions (Somerfield was taken over by the Co-op in 2009, hence the reduction from 10 companies assessed in our earlier comparison). New questions assessed in 2011 covered: pollinator-friendly practices and restrictions on bee-toxic pesticides; whether the company has phase-out plans for pesticides on PAN International’s targets for global bans (endosulfan and paraquat); and whether they are proactive on helping farmers find alternative methods for pesticides which are likely to be withdrawn from the EU market under the authorisation Regulation 1107/2009. Other than Asda and Lidl, all the others responded to our questionnaire providing information in varying levels of detail. In addition, we looked at information available in the public domain, such as presentations at conferences and information regarding collaborations with research or certification organisations. Since the information we have is in varying levels of detail, and users of the assessment might ‘weight’ the various aspects of pesticide policy differently, we have not attempted to calculate a numerical score on company performance. Instead, we present a more qualitative comparison, which nevertheless shows clearly the leaders, those in the middle of the pack and those companies trailing behind. Details of the

individual company results will be available via the PAN UK website. Table 1 shows in summary how individual companies are performing on the 12 questions posed.

Best and worst performers We want to congratulate the Co-operative and Marks and Spencer for continuing to lead British retailer efforts to address almost all of the pesticide issues of importance to PAN UK. The Co-op have upgraded residue reduction plans since 2009, while both companies are trying hard to phase out the few remaining uses of endosulfan in their supply chains and committing resources to testing and advising growers on alternative methods in pest management. The recent Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants decision to list endosulfan will massively limit the availability of this chemical from 2012. The early decision by the Co-op and M&S to target this chemical has given these retailers a head start over their peers and they should be much more able to cope with the decision than some of their competitors. Aldi and Lidl remain firmly ‘Bottom of the class’, taking no visible action on most of the policy criteria assessed. Their performance in the UK contrasts with high profile and concrete progress on residue reduction in the supply chains delivering to their German stores. We are disappointed to see that Sainsbury’s have taken a few steps back since we last conducted this comparison and appear to have de-prioritised their earlier promising work on pesticide residue and use reduction and hence are no longer in our ‘Top Class’. Showing progress are Waitrose, Tesco and Morrisons, with efforts or improvement including action plans in resolving residue issues or committing to phase out some of the most hazardous pesticides. However, we would like to see them do a lot more and share their plans and progress with the public. Asda is clearly in the ‘Must try much harder’ part of the class, although they too are working on residue reduction objectives.

Autumn 2011

More action urged We are concerned about pesticide exposure for people and the environment from farm production via post-harvest processing, distribution and retail to the consumer. Within that sphere and in response to our findings through this comparison we are focusing on five priority issues where we call for action by British supermarkets: ● regularly report on their pesticide residue test results ● commit to phase out the most hazardous pesticides in their supply chain ● engage with consumers on unnecessary use of pesticides for cosmetic appearance ● promote pollinator friendly practices ● reduce exposure to bee toxic pesticides

Publishing residue results Publishing pesticide residue test results is a way to facilitate transparency towards consumers. We feel that consumers have a right to know what pesticides they are encountering. Yet again the Co-operative and Marks and Spencer lead the field here and we are disappointed to see no other supermarket making the required effort.

Phasing out hazardous pesticides A commitment to phase out specific hazardous pesticides is crucial due to their toxicity to those working on farms and documented environmental impacts. PAN UK calls upon supermarkets to follow the inspiring example of the Co-operative and Marks and Spencer, in identifying the most hazardous pesticides in their supply chains and committing to a timeframe and grower support to phase them out.

Engaging with consumers on cosmetic pesticide use We are very concerned with the lack of engagement by all the supermarkets with their customers on pesticide usage linked to appearance of fresh produce. For diseases such as apple scab, for example, or skin appearance of citrus fruit, considerable pesticide use could be avoided if retailers and consumers were prepared to accept some slight blemishes which do not affect food quality or taste. Educating consumers on this issue would not only lessen the need for the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes but also cut wastage of good quality food that is rejected due to irregularity in appearance, as well as reduce exposure of farm workers and environmental contamination.

Protecting bees PAN UK is concerned to promote pollinator friendly practices and reduce exposure to bee toxic pesticides. This important issue is included in this year’s assessment in recognition of the growing crisis in population levels and hive health of bees and other pollinators. There is an alarming rate of decline in the numbers of bees that has been documented in North America, Western Europe,


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European issues

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Pesticides News 93

Table 1. Summary assessment of supermarket performance on PAN UK’s 12 policy criteria Pesticide policy criterion

Aldi

Asda

Coop

Lidl

M&S

Morr

Sain

Tesc

Wait

Publish its residue testing results?

!

!

!

☺*

???

!

!

!

Action plans to tackle residue problems beyond legal compliance?

!

#

!*

#

☺*

#*

#

Commit to phase out specific hazardous pesticides?

!

#*

!

☺*

#*

#*

???

Stated aim and actions to reduce use of pesticides?

???

#*

!

#

#*

#*

#

Pest management strategy promotes alternatives to pesticides?

???

???

!

☺*

!

☺*

#

Technical support for growers to reduce reliance on pesticides?

???

!

!

!

#

☺*

Info for consumers on pesticide use issues?

!

!

!

#

!

#

!

!

Engage with consumers on unnecessary use of pesticides for cosmetic appearance of fruit and vegetables?

!

!

#

!

!

!

#

!

#*

Promote pollinator-

???

???

!

???

???

Reduce exposure to bee-toxic pesticides?

!

!

!

!

#

!

#

#*

Address potential loss of pesticides under new EU law?

???

???

!

???

???

!

!

Phase out plans for PAN International targets for global bans (endosulfan and paraquat)?

!

!

!

#

#

#

!

friendly practices?

☺ A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods # A company works on the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress. ??? A company may be addressing the issue, but does not provide any information on it, or the information is too vague to judge whether it is making a genuine effort !There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers * Indicates that there is considerably more the company could do to address the issue, or to report their progress or plans. The star therefore indicates that the company is not doing as well in that area as companies with the same ‘score’ without a star.

Brazil, India and other parts of the world [PN 91 pp3-5, 10-11, 19]. Whilst the Cooperative, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury and Waitrose promote pollinator friendly practices only the Co-operative is taking concrete steps to reduce exposure to beetoxic pesticides, via its restrictions on the use of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides in certain crops and the research it is funding on the complex and poorly understood effects of pesticides on bee health. If not for the sake of the bees, then for the essential role they play in sustaining our civilisation by pollinating our crops we urge all supermarkets to take the Co-operative’s example and take effective steps in reducing exposure to bee-toxic pesticides. Toxicity to bees is one of the cut-off criteria for refusing approval of specific pesticides under the new EU authorisation Regulation 1107/2009. Progressive companies can demonstrate their leadership in best practice by taking a proactive stance on bee-toxic pesticides in their supply chains.

What you can do By conducting this comparison we hope to highlight the positive efforts taken by some companies and to inspire other companies to follow suit. Individual consumers can play an active part by encouraging supermarkets to improve their performance in delivering safer food and safer and more sustainable pest management, i.e. safer for those growing our food as well as for those eating it. Consumers can also contribute to reducing the overall level of pesticide dependency and supporting farmers to shift to safer pest management through the following actions: ● accepting minor skin blemishes, such as mild levels of apple scabbing and russetting, on fruit and vegetables ● buying fresh produce that differs slightly in size, shape or colour from the restrictive specifications imposed on growers by retailer buying desks and EU regulations ● choosing seasonal produce that is at its best when grown at the times and places that discourage pests and diseases and allow growers to maximise natural pest control

processes ● being tolerant of the very occasional beneficial insect that might be in glasshouse crops, such as lettuce, and thus enabling more use of biological control of insect pests ● letting supermarkets know that pesticide issues are important and encouraging them to take action on pesticides. PAN UK urges concerned consumers to send letters or emails demanding change to the laggards, and congratulating the leaders. Template letters specific to the performance of each supermarket, contact details for relevant departments and the detailed study will be available shortly at www.pan-uk.org.

Stephanie Williamson is Staff Scientist at PAN UK, email stephaniewilliamson@panuk.org; Manmeet Kaur is a Research Intern at PAN UK, email manmeet@pan-uk.org 1. What are UK supermarkets doing about pesticide problems? PAN UK Spring 2009 assessment, via http://www.pan-uk.org/supermarkets/what-are-uksupermarkets-doing-about-pesticide-problems

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European issues

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European NGOs voice concern over CAP reform The following cartoon, supported by a group of European NGOs, appeared in the European Parliament magazine issue 338. It focuses on the shortcomings of the proposed reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and how the lobbying by big business interests is threatening to undermine the elements of the reform that would help to ensure that agriculture in the EU is sustainable and will ensure adequate food security for all EU citizens in the coming years. The cartoon was sponsored and supported by: ARC 2020, Birdlife International, European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace, IFOAM EU Group, Pesticide Action Network Europe and WWF. The single biggest threat to European food security arises from widespread unsustainable farming and livestock practices based upon monocultures, over-dependence on pesticides, fertilizers and feed imports, and leading to water overuse and soil degradation. In the last 8 years, 20% of farms have

22

disappeared, often the most environmentally valuable ones, whereas another 20% of farms, often environmentally damaging, scooped up 80% of CAP subsidies. In times of austerity and budget constraints, every Euro matters. If we are to continue to spend substantial amounts of

Autumn 2011

public money on the farming sector, this needs to incentivise farmers to move toward sustainable agriculture, and create the conditions for fair market income for farmers. The CAP can only regain its legitimacy if it uses the funds for a long term investment in the protection of the resource base that underpins all farming. The greening of the CAP as currently proposed by the Commission is far too weak. Unless it is significantly strengthened, the EU will fail to address the serious problems of our farming sector, severely damaging our environment, food security, future prospects of our farms and the credibility of the EU itself. A defensible CAP must include, as a bare minimum, a meaningful package of basic measures including ecological focus areas, crop rotation and grassland protection. It must also include robust cross compliance and a significant strengthening of rural development. Protecting the natural resources that farming depends on, and which are essential to ensure its mid and long term economic viability, has to be part of the solution. The opportunity for a real reform should not be sacrificed in order to please vested interests. We appeal to ALL Members of the European Parliament to take a stand for a green reform. The future of our farmers, our food and our environment depends on it.


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Book and film reviews Useful research findings from African horticulture systems This excellent and timely book brings together recent understandings gained from mainly smallholder vegetable systems across Africa, growing for domestic and export markets. It focuses on challenges and successes in production methods, marketing and examines the impact of private voluntary standards such as GlobalGAP on smallholder income, livelihoods and health and safety. Co-edited by Hermann Waibel, a wellknown expert in the economics of horticulture production and of the external costs of pesticides from the University of Hannover, there is, not surprisingly, a strong flavour of socioeconomic assessment throughout, although the level of analysis is explained clearly enough for non-economists to understand, with two useful introductory chapters describing research concepts and frameworks for assessing economic impacts. Like most work on export horticulture smallholder systems in Africa, East Africa, especially Kenya, features heavily, but there are case studies from West Africa (Senegal) and southern Africa (Zambia) too. The Senegalese chapter looks at the rapid growth in export production of green beans and tomato, and concludes that this growth has delivered significant poverty-reduction benefits for rural communities in the main vegetable zones. While there has been consolidation of supply chains and a shift from smallholder production to large farms and contract growing, mainly due to the need to comply with stricter quality control and food safety requirements of retailers in the EU market, labour demand has increased, creating new jobs on-farm and in packhouses, accessible to the poorest rural households. Three chapters report on studies of the impact of food safety standards including GlobalGAP on rural household welfare, smallholder participation in export supply and farm worker welfare in Kenya. Smallholders who have adopted GlobalGAP standards generally gained financial and other benefits from better farming practices. Three further chapters cover pest management aspects. A study of the economic impact of the introduction of parasitic wasps to control a key caterpillar pest of cabbages, the Diamond-back Moth (DBM), in the highlands of Kenya and Tanzania found that in the former country, vegetable smallholders reduced their average pesticide spraying frequency from 4.6 per season to 1.3 after the release of these natural enemies of DBM. In both countries, farmers in areas where the wasps were introduced applied significantly less frequently than farmers in other areas.

Pesticide expenditure was reduced by an estimated 34% in areas where biocontrol was in place. Preliminary conclusions three years after the first wasp releases are that effective biocontrol agents can release farmers from pesticide dependency, and reduce their input costs and potential external costs from pesticide harm to human and environmental health. However, it is crucial to train farmers in appropriate pest management techniques, especially on avoiding use of broad-spectrum or persistent insecticides which will kill the natural enemies of DBM. An economic assessment of the indirect and external costs of pesticide use in the Kenyan horticulture sector offers many insights of relevance for policy makers and those working to support smallholder livelihoods. External costs were estimated for human health impairment, presence of pesticide residues in produce, livestock poisoning, collection and disposal of empty containers and governmental damage prevention costs (regulatory and research programmes). Effects of pesticides on birds and beneficial arthropods and on the development of pest resistance were not included due to lack of data. Overall, farmers bear an estimated US$3.11million per year in indirect costs to their health and income and including other potential external costs gives an alarmingly uneconomical ratio of US$2.5 in costs for each US$ invested in pesticide use. Another Kenyan study looks at IPM training and information flow among smallholders and concluded the need for reducing the distance between extension services and farmers and the value of farmer group organisation for learning. This book is a useful source of information for development organisations working on smallholder vegetable growing and ways to improve income generation, farm family welfare and marketing opportunities for IPM and organic produce.

Pesticides News 93

Autumn 2011

tionally acclaimed ecological activist Dr Vandana Shiva, and Dr Melaku Worede, renowned for his work towards restoring Ethiopia's seed diversity. To watch the trailer or find out more about the work of the Gaia Foundation please visit: http://www.gaiafoundation.org/ content/exploring-corporate-takeover-seed

Vanishing of the Bees educational version We imagine that many of you will already have seen or at least heard of the 2009 documentary ‘Vanishing of the Bees’. It is a film that focuses on the massive increase in honey bee deaths around the world caused by what has come to be known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The film highlights the plight of the bees and the beekeepers that need them to make a living by following two beekeepers as they travel across the USA and try to get their voices heard by the decision makers in Washington DC. What comes across clearly in the film is the threat that bees are facing and to an extent the role that the class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids are playing in the demise of honey bees across the globe. The makers of the film have now issued a shorter 34 minute educational version accompanied by classroom materials that can be used in schools. Whilst this version of the film is aimed at students in the US we believe that the information contained in it would make a valuable contribution to the knowledge of any audience. The film is available to purchase from; http://www.vanishingbees.com/education al-version/

Vegetable Production and Marketing in Africa. Socio-economic Research. Eds. D MithĂśfer and H Waibel. CABI, Wallingford, 2011, 288pp.

Upcoming film news There are two interesting films due for release that we thought our readers might be interested in knowing more about.

Seeds of Freedom The Gaia Foundation has just launched a trailer for the film Seeds of Freedom, to be launched in early 2012. The film explores the history of the corporate takeover of seed, and the impact that this is having on communities across the world. The loss of indigenous seed goes hand-in-hand with the loss of biodiversity, the loss of cultural traditions and practices, the loss of livelihoods and the loss of independence in agriculture. The film features interviews with interna-

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Pesticide Action Network UK PAN UK – Making a difference Pesticide Action Network UK works to eliminate the dangers of toxic pesticides, our exposure to them, and their presence in the environment where we live and work. Nationally and globally we promote safer alternatives, the production of healthy food and sustainable farming. Pesticide Action Network UK is an independent, non-profit organisation. We work around the world with likeminded groups and individuals concerned with health, environment and development to: Eliminate the hazards of pesticides ● Reduce dependence on pesticides and prevent unnecessary expansion of use ● Increase the sustainable and ecological alternatives to chemical pest control ●

You can subscribe to Pesticides News, donate to PAN UK and buy our publications at www.pan-uk.org

Pesticides News 93

Autumn 2011

Recent publications Communities in peril: Global report on health impacts of pesticide use in agriculture, 2009, www.panuk.org/publications/communi ties-in-peril Paraquat: unacceptable health risks for users, 2011, http://www.evb.ch/en/p1028 5.html Organic cotton systems reduce poverty and food insecurity for African farm families, 2010, available at www.pan-uk.org/ foodAfrica/index.html African partner leaflets 2010, about PAN’s partners in Africa, OBEPAB, Enda Pronat and the Yakaar Niani Wulli Organic

Farmers Federation, available at www.pan-uk.org/ foodAfrica/index.html My Sustainable T-shirt, 2010, an updated version of PAN UK’s definitive guide to organic cotton and ecolabelling, available at www.wearorganic.org Hibiscus, cashew and cotton - what’s the common thread? 2009, describes crops grown by African organic cotton farmers and how to support farmers’ livelihoods, available at www.pan-uk.org/ foodAfrica/index.html Moral Fibre, 2009, a guide to sustainable fashion for fashion students, available at www.WearOrganic.org

Periodicals Pesticides News – the most comprehensive quarterly source of information on pesticide problems and alternative developments. Extensive articles, resources, book reviews and news on UK, European and global issues. Current Research Monitor – an invaluable resource for researchers. This lists up-todate scientific and specialist research covering the impact of pesticides on health and the environment. Includes abstracts, research lists and conference details. PEX Newsletter – quarterly information and news sheet for people whose health has been affected by pesticides or who are concerned about the health effects of pesticides.

Subscription details £160 – Full corporate subscribers (commercial organisations and government departments) can receive up to four copies of Pesticides News and Current Research Monitor. Other benefits include all new PAN UK publications and books free of charge. £90 – Basic corporate subscribers receive one copy of Pesticides News and Current Research Monitor. £50 – Non-commercial subscribers (non-governmental/nonprofit/academic organisations) are entitled to Pesticides News, Current Research Monitor, and the PEX Newsletter. £25 – Individual subscribers are entitled to Pesticides News, Current Research Monitor, and the PEX Newsletter. Signed

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PAN UK - Pesticide News - Issue 93  

Autumn 2011

PAN UK - Pesticide News - Issue 93  

Autumn 2011