Our Toxic Future?

Why post-EU pesticide deregulation is a threat to the health of the people and environment of the UK.

The decision to leave the EU ushers in an era of uncertainty, doubt, threat and opportunity for the UK as a whole. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the UK agriculture sector – and specifically what it means for the future of pesticide regulation in the UK.

BEE EMERGENCY CALL

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How some Member States are threatening bees by allowing the use of prohibited pesticides and how the Commission does nothing to stop them.

Bees are still under threat from abuse of pesticides. Four pesticides which are highly toxic to bees (including neonicotinoids and fipronil) were banned in 2013. However, the pesticide and seed industry, farmers and many EU Member States are continuing to use these pesticides. This is through a loophole in the Pesticides Regulation that allows for “emergency authorisations”.

Farming wheat without neonicotinoids

In 2013, following a thorough scientific review by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and a vote by Member States, the European Commission restricted the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides which posed a “high acute risk” to honey bees. Honey bees are one of over 260 bee species in the UK and since 2013 evidence has mounted that neonicotinoids also harm bumblebees and solitary bees. There is now evidence that these wild bees, which are responsible for most crop pollination, are even more sensitive to neonicotinoids than honey bees.

Persistence of neonicotinoids and widespread contamination

 

The PAN UK factsheets look at key issues regarding pesticides and bee and pollinator species. They have covered topics such as the overuse of herbicides and the resulting loss of habitat for pollinators, alternatives to pesticides that farmers and others can use, contrasting policies in UK with other EU countries as well as the much debated issue of neonicotinoid insecticides and pollinator exposure via treated seed.

 

B-LINES FACT SHEET 3

Wildflower-rich Grassland Creation

What type of grassland should I be creating for insect pollinators?

There are many types of wildflower-rich grasslands, including lowland hay meadows and pastures on deep neutral soils, flower-rich swards on the thin calcareous soils of the chalk and limestone landscapes and more acidic grasslands often found alongside lowland heathland areas