PAN and the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) have today written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Paterson, to urge him to support the EC's proposed suspension of neonicotinoid pesticide use on maize, oil seed rape, sunflowers and cotton crops. European Union member states are due to vote on the proposed two year temporary suspension on 25 February.
Rt. Hon Owen Paterson MP
Secretary of State
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
17 Smith Square
SW1P 3JR 7th February 2013
We are writing on behalf of Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) and the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) to request that the UK supports the European Commission proposal for a two year suspension of the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides when it is voted on in Brussels on 25th February 2013.
You will be aware of the recent report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which concluded that the use of three neonicotinoids as seed dressings or as granules poses an unacceptable risk to bee and other pollinator species. EFSA recommended that the three actives in question – clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam – be subjected to a much more rigorous regulatory assessment. In response, the European Commission has proposed to suspend the use of these three actives on crops attractive to bees, sunflowers, oil seed rape, maize and cotton, across the EU as a precautionary measure starting no later than 31st July 2013.
PAN UK and EJF believe this proposal to be long overdue and both precautionary and a minimum response. We believe that approval for these products should be suspended until it has been demonstrated that they do not pose an unacceptable threat to bees and pollinators that are so vital for agricultural production.
Far from being a threat to farming this suspension should stimulate innovation and help encourage farmers to move towards more sustainable agricultural practices. The UK’s biggest farmer – the Co-op – has already welcomed the proposal.
We are therefore asking that the UK support the proposal put forward by the commission when it is voted on at the meeting of the Standing Committee on Phytopharmaceuticals on 25th February.
Please do not hesitate in contacting us if you require further information.
Dr. Keith Tyrell Steve Trent
Director PAN UK Director, EJF
7 Feb 2013