Update on Agroecology in the Rift Valley, Ethiopia.
picture of pilot project signHere is the latest newletter from The Darwin Initiative about the great work they are supporting globally.  There is a nice piece on page nine on PAN-UK's project in the Ethiopian Rift Valley on trialing agroecological approaches, including the 'food spray' technique.
‘Emergency’ Derogation on Neonicotinoids Declined

Picture of a beePAN-UK welcomes the recent decision by DEFRA to uphold the EU ban of neonicotinoids, due to their link to pollinator decline.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), submitted a request to use ‘emergency’ applications of neonicotinoids in order to control cabbage stem flea beetle in oilseed rape this spring, amid fears that yields would be compromised.  Their request flies in the face of the ban that has been imposed for two years in order to fully assess the effect, if any, on yields and pollinator populations from the abandonment of the use of neonicotinoids in UK agriculture. 

In fact, the data so far shows no discernable negative effect on yields. The request for an ‘emergency’ derogation is unfounded as there has similarly not been any reports of increased instances of outbreaks since the ban.

The decision to continue to protect our pollinators from these debilitating chemicals is good news for the future of British agriculture  Maintaining the ban will allow decisions about the health of our countryside to be based on observation and science rather than propaganda from profit driven industry.

Glyphosate Decision Postponed, Again.

picture of EU flagThe controversy over the reauthorisation of glyphosate in the European Union continues as news that the predicted decision on approval today again has been postponed.

It is clear that there is serious disagreement among Member States about how, or if, this probable carcinogen should be approved for use across the EU. France and Italy are both opposed to reauthorisation, seven other countries were prepared to abstain from a vote and the remaining 19 countries, shamefully including the UK, were in favour of its continued use.

Whilst no new deadline for a decision has yet been set, if there is no decision by 30th June it is possible that the use of glyphosate in all areas – including agriculture – will be banned as this is when its current approval period comes to an end.

It is hoped that this further postponement will allow time to persuade more Member States that the citizens of the EU do not want this toxic poison to be used to grow our food, contaminate our parks and playgrounds or be sprayed in our home gardens.

Pesticide-free towns and cities

Our Pesticide Free Towns campaign is launched

Welcome to our campaign to make UK towns and cities pesticide-free. Many of the pesticides used in our urban areas can cause serious illnesses like cancers and birth defects. Children are particularly vulnerable. Hundreds of towns around the world have already gone pesticide-free. It's time for the UK to follow.

Become part of a new movement and join our campaign to persuade UK towns and cities to Go Pesticide-Free!

PAN and IUF Call on European Leaders to Ban Glyphosate.

picture of EU flagFive members of the PAN family, along with IUF (The International Union of Farm Workers), have just written to EU leaders asking them to ban the use of glyphosate in Europe and reminding them that two thirds of EU citizens feel the same.  Mounting scientific evidence is pointing to the toxicity of glyphosate to the environment and to humans, including links to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among others. Later this month the EU will vote on the future of glyphosate use in Europe for the next 15 years, so it is an imperative time.You can read the full Letter below and follow the progression of the descison here.  

Has Bristol non-herbicide weed control trial been designed to fail?
Recent reports in the press referring to the current herbicide-free weed control trial in the Cotham area of Bristol have claimed that the “whole city stinks of vinegar” and that residents are unhappy about this. These reports have completely ignored the significance of this trial and instead tried to undermine the very good intentions behind it, instead resorting to sensationalist reporting of what is a very important issue not only for Bristol but for the UK as a whole.

However, in one respect, the articles are correct: the trial is a farce, and will fail to provide any insight into how to manage weeds without pesticides.
Retailers must buy more sustainable cotton say NGOs

The uptake of sustainable cotton by brands and retailers is lagging behind production and threatening the future of the sustainable cotton market according to new research commissioned by PAN UK, Solidaridad and WWF. A range of initiatives have worked hard to increase the supply of more sustainable cotton, but retailers are not keeping up - many still have no targets to source more ethical cotton.
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sorry. Thanks, but this is a charity site and upgrading from 1.5 is not going to be straightforward when they have no web dev budget, have a heart!