Message in a bottle
Following PAN Europe’s high profile investigation, Elliott Cannell, Coordinator of PAN Europe, asks why bottles of wine sent for laboratory analysis were found to contain such high numbers of pesticide residues.
High chlorpyrifos levels on vegetables in Ghana
Revelations of high levels of pesticide residues on foodstuffs has led to an outcry over the inappropriate use of pesticides on vegetables cultivated in urban and peri-urban areas of Ghana. In 2006 a survey of sixty farmers from the Volta region of Ghana revealed inappropriate pesticide application practices. Residue analysis detected the presence of chlorpyrifos, DDT, cypermethrin, and dimethoate in shallots, with levels of chlorpyrifos exceeding the Codex maximum residue level in most samples. Daniel A. Kotey, Winfred Seth K. Gbewonyo and Kwame Afreh-Nuamah report on their findings.
GM soya expansion fuels endosulfan use in Argentina
Widespread adoption of herbicide-resistant soya in Argentina has had unintended and unexpected consequences. It is intensively cultivated in monocultures limiting crop rotation and consequently reducing the number of beneficial insects. Farmers respond to pest pressures by using more insecticides, particularly endosulfan. In fact, endosulfan use has more than doubled in the past decade mainly due to GM soya plantings. Javier Souza of the Centre for Research on Appropriate Technologies in Argentina (CETAAR) describes the many impacts of GM soya in Argentina.
Unilever work with Indian gherkin growers to reduce pesticide use
Smallholders growing gherkins for Unilever’s supply chains in India faced numerous pest management problems and rising pesticide costs. Anandramiah Ramesh descibes how an IPM programme has successfully reduced pesticide use and increased yields.
Germany bans bee-killing pesticides
Germany has banned a family of pesticides after millions of honeybees died in the Southwest of the country. Beekeepers in the region reported mass bee deaths earlier this month following the application of a pesticide called clothianidin
IPM cotton comes to market as Cleaner Cotton™
While organic cotton production continues to rise at an exponential rate globally, it will be years before sufficient quantities are produced to satisfy market demand. Farmers in California are now exploring complementary ways to address the environmental impact of cotton production. Although IPM cotton growing systems have been successfully implemented throughout the world with dramatic reduction in pesticide usage, lack of market access has always constituted a major obstacle. This problem has now been solved in California with the introduction of Cleaner Cotton™ to the marketplace for the first time this year. Marcia Gibbs from Sustainable Cotton Project describes its development.
France spearheads grassroots movement
Activists in France take the message to markets, garden centres, farms and schools. Francois Veillerette, Président of MDRGF, and Elliott Cannell, Coordinator of PAN Europe, look back on Semaine Sans Pesticides 2008 – a week of civil society initiatives.
Linking rural African communities with global policy-makers
To a mother in rural Africa the secretariats of international chemical codes and conventions may seem impossibly remote. And yet her health, and that of her family, may depend on these conventions being implemented effectively in order to reduce serious hazards from obsolete pesticides and other toxic chemicals. The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is pioneering new ways to reduce the distance between policy-makers, implementing agencies and affected communities in order to improve the flow of information between them to better tackle the causes of obsolete pesticides and protect peoples’ health and the environment from their effects. Eloise Touni describes the process.
Is IPM possible for small-scale bean farmers in Africa?
Louise Labuschagne of Real IPM, Kenya, describes practical successes in smallscale vegetable production including rearing of beneficial insects for release in farmers’ fields.
Poor conditions for women working in African horticulture
European retailers demand that fresh vegetables for import meet high quality standards. However, far less attention is paid to the working conditions and labour rights on the farms where the vegetables are grown. Kathini Maloba, Phillipina Mosha, Flavia Amoding Otim and Mutebele Kunda report on conditions for women in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia