‘Emergency’ Derogation on Neonicotinoids Declined PDF Print E-mail

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.

DEFRA rejected a request from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), for permission to use ‘emergency’ applications of neonicotinoids in order to control cabbage stem flea beetle in oilseed rape this spring.  Their request would have undermined a Europe-wide ban on the use of three neonicotinoid insecticides that was introduced to assess the effect, if any, on yields and pollinator populations . 

In fact, the data so far shows minimal impact on yields and there have been no major flea beetle outbreaks since the ban came into force.

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. PDF Print E-mail

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.

African Countries Urge EU Leaders Not To Reauthorise Glyphosate. PDF Print E-mail

There is mounting support from non-European countries to stop the reauthorisation of Glyphosate in the EU this week. Six African countries including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia, with the support of the IUF, have sent communications to EU heads of states and the relevant EU authorities (See Attachments).  The unions have pointed to the risks from agrochemicals that their members confront on a daily basis, often without sufficient protective clothing and with no training. Even though the unions have struggled for many years with employers and governments to improve this situation, workers continue to suffer the effects of indiscriminate pesticide application. The situation is rendered even more acute by the fact that many agricultural workers in Africa live where they work, surrounded by general pesticide contamination and an absence of potable water. Moves towards reduced pesticide applications through integrated pest management and the adoption of agro-ecological farming techniques have so far only brought meagre results and sugar workers are exposed to particularly heavy, indiscriminate glyphosate application since the herbicide is used to accelerate ripening of the cane.

The unions believe that re-authorization would set back their own longstanding efforts to ban or restrict the application of glyphosate and other pesticides, and have urged the Commission to implement a ban on glyphosate use to ‘lead the way’.  Failing that, to respect at a minimum the April 13 resolution of the European Parliament, which called for limited reauthorization for 7 years, with important restrictions. 

PAN and IUF Call on European Leaders to Ban Glyphosate. PDF Print E-mail

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? PDF Print E-mail
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.
Green groups press charges against Monsanto and licensing authorities PDF Print E-mail

picture of EU flagIn yet another blow to the credibility of the reauthorisation process for glyphosate in the European Union, it has been revealed today that important epidemiological information about the effects of glyphosate have been ignored by industry and regulators.

PAN UK, in partnership with seven other European environmental and health NGOs, has launched a legal challenge against the process for relicensing glyphosate, and is calling for a complete ban on the herbicide. There is very clear evidence that it causes cancer and it is also very clear that the people of the European Union do not want glyphosate to be used to grow their food or on the streets and parks where they live, work and play.

Below you will find a press release, issued today by Global 2000 and the Munich Environmental Institute (two of the NGOs working with PAN UK on the legal challenge to glyphosate), showing that some key studies on the toxicity of glyphosate. have been badly misinterpreted

Glyphosate – A step closer to a ban in the European Union? PDF Print E-mail

picture of EU flag

On Wednesday 13th April, the European Parliament voted in favour of a motion setting out conditions for the re-authorisation of the herbicide glyphosate. The motion allows for the re-licensing of glyphosate in the EU for a period of seven years (instead of the proposed 15), but would dramatically restrict the range of uses. Whilst it would not be a complete ban, the proposal would nevertheless result in an end to the use of glyphosate in many areas (like the amenity sector) and would seriously limits its use in others - including agriculture (you can read the key details of the motion below).

The European Commission will make a final decision in late-May.  There is still time to make your voice heard and let it know that you do not want glyphosate contaminating your food, streets, parks, schools and homes, by signing on to the PAN/IUF campaign here

NGOs tell MEPs to ditch Glyphosate - you can too PDF Print E-mail

picture of EU flag

On Wednesday 13th April the European Parliament will vote on a motion opposing the approval of the herbicide glyphosate for use in the EU.

PAN UK and 12 other UK organisations have written to all UK MEPs asking them to vote in favour of the motion. A copy of the letter is available below.

We are asking that concerned members of the UK public also email their MEP and ask them to support the motion.

You can find out who your MEP is here

Thank you.

Retailers must buy more sustainable cotton say NGOs PDF Print E-mail

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.
PAN and IUF join foces to block glyphosate re-authorisation PDF Print E-mail

PAN and the International Union of Farmworkers (IUF) have launched a joint campaign calling on the European Commission not to renew the licence for the herbicide glyphosate - the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup and the world's most widely-used weedkiller. Renewed authorization is being pushed through despite the United Nations' World Health Organization warning last year that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic and mounting evidence of pervasive glyphosate residues in our food and our bodies. The IUF and PAN International are calling on concerned citizens to send messages to the European Commission and its relevant bodies urging them to ban glyphosate in the EU and to provide comprehensive support for a safer, saner food system which does not put agricultural workers in the front lines of exposure and inject massive quantities of toxic chemicals into the environment.  CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE
Brighton & Hove to stop using Glyphosate PDF Print E-mail
PAN UK is delighted that Brighton & Hove City Council has voted to stop the use of the herbicide glyphosate and investigate the use of non-chemical methods for weed and pest control. The motion, introduced by Green Councillor Louisa Greenbaum, was unanimously supported in the Council meeting by members of all political parties. PAN UK looks forward to other towns and cities following this lead and taking similar action to protect the health of their citizens and their environments.

PAN UK supports Hawaiian Activists PDF Print E-mail

Hawaii food justice summitHawai'i is a center of global research into GM seeds. Five agro-chemical companies - BASF, Dow, DuPont-Pioneer, Monsanto and Syngenta - spray tonnes of pestcides - sometimes more than 250 applications a year - on their experimental crops, threatening the islands' fragile ecosystem and islanders' health.  But local activists are fighting back and have succeeded in getting new laws to protect their communities. PAN UK, and other NGOs from around the world, took part in a Food Justice Summit to support Hawaiian communities fighting to protect their land. You can read the statement from the summit below.

List of global restrictions on glyphosate PDF Print E-mail
Prompted by concerns over its impact on human health and the environment, local and national authorities all over the world are restricting the use of the herbicide glyphosate. In this document, we list all of the voluntary and legal restrictions on glyphosate use that we have been able to find.
MPs to Debate Neonics and Pollinators PDF Print E-mail
On Monday, MPs will debate a petition calling for an immediate halt to the use of neonicotinoid pesticides which have been linked to major declines in bees and other wild pollinators. PAN UK will be following the debate live on twitter (@PAN_UK) and Facebook - click on the links to the right to follow us.


Global No Pesticide Use Day - We don't need Highly Hazardous Pestcicides PDF Print E-mail
photo of coffee grovesDecember 3rd marks global No Pesticide Use Day, dedicated to the memory of the 1984 Bhopal chemical disaster in India which killed thousands and injured hundred of thousands of people. Pesticide Action Network International (PAN International) is calling on governments and corporations around the world to ban  Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) and replace them with ecosystem-based alternatives.
Help us get glyphosate off UK shop shelves PDF Print E-mail
223 glyphosate-containing products are available in the UK for the public to use – PAN UK wants these cancer-causing toxins taken off the shelves, and we need your help to pressure retailers to stop selling them.
UK Election 2015 – where do the parties stand on pesticide issues? PDF Print E-mail
All the major parties have published their manifestos for the forthcoming general election on 7 May, and as ever, PAN UK were eager to see what promises they make, if elected, to tackle the issue of pesticides, reduce our dependence on them and put a halt to the health and environmental effects that pesticide use is causing in urban and rural localities throughout the UK.

The problem with glyphosate PDF Print E-mail
The ubiquitous weedkiller glyphosate, popularly sold under the trade name Roundup, among others, has been linked to deaths through poisonings as well as chronic health effects, including cancers and birth defects. Read more in this special release glyphosate factsheet from our partners at PAN Asia & the Pacific
You might be surprised at how widely pesticides are used in producing many of your Christmas delights. However, overuse and over-reliance on pesticides causes human misery, harms wildlife and causes environmental destruction.
PAN UK Supports call for public inquiry into sheep dip poisonings PDF Print E-mail
The Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) welcomes today’s call from Shadow Secretary of Health Andy Burnham for a public inquiry into the issue of organphosphate (OP) sheep dip poisoning suffered by sheep farmers and their families.
On first anniversary of bee-harming pesticides restriction, more action is needed to protect UK bees PDF Print E-mail
Monday 1st December is the first anniversary of the two-year EU-wide restrictions on certain neonicotinoid pesticides. While the restriction was an important first step, it is clear that further action is needed to protect UK pollinators by giving precedence to scientific facts. One year on, the Bee Coalition is calling for a blanket ban on all neonicotinoid pesticides.

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