2 articles are free this issue!
Role of pesticides in UK farmland bird decline
In the UK the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. It first became involved in farmland bird conservation around 20 years ago when it became apparent that many countryside songbird species were in sharp decline. UK farmland bird numbers have declined by 50% since the mid-1970's. In response the charity has built up a large team working in this area, researching the science behind species recovery, developing policy for decision makers and offering advice directly to farmers. Lucy Bjorck of the RSPB reports.
Poisonings in South Africa from super strength street pesticides
Impoverished urban areas are fertile breeding grounds for urban pests and consequently there is a high demand for cheap and effective pest control. Illegal sales of highly toxic agricultural pesticides to householders has become commonplace in many developing coutnries where effective control of sales is lacking. This trade is lucrative for the sellers but dangerous both to them and the householders who buy their wares. Hanna-Andrea Rother has investigated these 'street pesticides' in South Africa. She reports on her findings.
Plus: cotton pesticides implicated in fatal poisonings in Benin
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Significant pesticide reductions possible in Europe
Rapid risk assessment of pesticide use in Ethiopia
PAN partners’ work to document patterns of pesticide use and practices by Ethiopian smallholder farmers has generated valuable information for policy makers. As part of the PAN partner capacity building component of this work, partners carried out a Rapid Risk
Assessment exercise on the most commonly used pesticides with the aid of ‘how to’ guidance from Colin Tingle and Ian Grant. Here, Colin and Ian describe the ‘example’ Rapid Risk Assessments they produced on 2,4-D and DDT as a training tool, for this exercise.
These give policy makers and others an indication of the most important risks from the PAN partner survey findings.
Plus: Paraquat poisoning
The four-year research programme, Endure, has concluded that up to 70% reductions in pesticide use are possible in some European crops. Integrated Pest Management techniques which are either already in existence or close to commercialisation were highlighted in a series of case studies conducted in France, Belgium and England. Adoption of a combination of these techniques could help to significantly reduce pesticide use in Europe. Keith Tyrell summarises the key findings presented at a recent conference in Paris.
French farmers and integrated production of wheat
Since 1997, agronomists and farmers in northern France have conducted extensive farm trials to develop strategies for growing large-scale arable crops with reduced reliance on agrochemicals. The aim of the trials is to reduce the environmental load on water and soil
resources, to better preserve biodiversity, while still growing profitable crops within a mainstream setting. Stephanie Williamson reports.
Pesticide export - from the harbour of Hamburg to the world
The International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides provides guidance on the manufacture, distribution, sale and use of pesticides. It recommends that in developing countries hazardous pesticides which require the use of prohibitively expensive or uncomfortable personal protective clothing should not be used. PAN Germany investigated the export of pesticides from the port of Hamburg in Germany. They found that, despite the recommendations of the Code, 77 highly hazardous pesticides were being exported. Susan Haffmans reports.
Plus: Diazinon - the problem of multiple regulatory regimes
Diazinon - Factsheet
Diazinon is an organophosphate pesticide developed by Novartis in the early 1950s. It has recently lost its authorisation for use in the EU as an agricultural pesticide and as a biocide due to issues with toxicity and gaps in the required authorisation data.