“Stop Pesticide Poisonings – A time travel through international pesticide policies”

The popular PAN Germany publication

“Stop Pesticide Poisonings – A time travel through international pesticide policies”

is now available as an updated, extended and newly layouted edition at:
http://www.pan-germany.org/download/stop_pesticide_poisonings_141002.pdf

Tea companies commit to Non-Pesticide Management in tea; Unilever and Girnar lead the way

After 50 hours volunteers climb down the billboards

August 13th, 2014, Mumbai: In an encouraging turn of events, two of the leading tea companies have come forward in support of Non-Pesticide Management (NPM) in tea. Earlier this week, Greenpeace India released its report “Trouble Brewing”1 highlighting pesticide residue in tea samples. Since then, companies have been coming forward to engage with us. In response, Unilever2 and now Girnar Tea3 have both committed to support the NPM approach, which could lead to phasing out pesticides in tea cultivation. Pilot studies will be the first concrete step in this direction.

“It is very encouraging that the tea companies are taking steps to provide their consumers pesticide-free tea. Unilever and now Girnar Tea have taken the first step in this direction. Greenpeace will continue to urge the tea industry to move towards a holistic, ecosystem-based approach that will gradually phase out pesticides and clean our chai,” said Neha Saigal, Senior Campaigner, Greenpeace India.

To highlight the urgency of the issue, volunteers had climbed up seven billboards at the Bandra Reclamation Road urging the tea companies to “Clean Chai Now”. After spending 50 hours on these billboards, the volunteers today climbed down acknowledging the progress shown by tea companies.

“We are happy that our efforts are paying off and companies are coming forward to engage with us in a positive way. We look forward to a day when all our tea is free from pesticides,” said Bindu Vaz, one of the volunteers.

Notes to the editor:

1) http://www.greenpeace.org/india/en/Press/Greenpeace-calls-on-the-industry-to-save-Indian-tea-from-pesticides/

2)http://www.unilever.nl/nieuwsenmedia/persberichten/2014/UnileverstartonderzoekinIndianaarmogelijkheidtheetetelenzonderpesticiden.aspx

3) https://twitter.com/TeasAtGirnar

For more information: http://grnpc.org/cleanchai

Follow us on twitter: @GreenpeaceIndia

Contacts:

Shashwat Raj: Senior Media Officer, Greenpeace India, +91 9971110144sraj@greenpeace.org

Neha Saigal: Senior Campaigner, Greenpeace India, +917760968772nsaigal@greenpeace.org

Report of Expert Committee setup on the Orders of High Court of Delhi to frame a policy for Monitoring of Pesticide Residues in Fruits & Vegetables

http://agricoop.nic.in/

Report of Expert Committee setup on the Orders of High Court of Delhi to frame a policy for Monitoring of Pesticide Residues in Fruits & Vegetables.New

On the directions dated 5th March, 2014 of the Hon,ble High Court of Delhi in W.P. No. 7495/2010 –Court on its own motion Vrs. U.O.I. & Others the competent authority has decided that the report of Expert Committee to frame a policy for Monitoring of Pesticide Residues in Fruits & Vegetables.

Click here for more details.

 

Pesticides ‘making bees smaller’

Bumblebees exposed to a widely-used pesticide produced workers with lower body mass, scientists

theguardian.com

Bumblebees could be shrinking because of exposure to a widely-used pesticide, a study suggests.
Bumblebees could be shrinking because of exposure to a widely-used pesticide, a study suggests. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA

Bumblebees could be shrinking because of exposure to a widely-used pesticide, a study suggests.

Experts fear smaller bees will be less effective at foraging for nectar and carrying out their vital task of distributing pollen.

Scientists in the UK conducted laboratory tests which showed how a pyrethroid pesticide stunted the growth of worker bumblebee larvae, causing them to hatch out reduced in size.

Gemma Baron, one of the researchers from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London, said: “We already know that larger bumblebees are more effective at foraging.

“Our result, revealing that this pesticide causes bees to hatch out at a smaller size, is of concern as the size of workers produced in the field is likely to be a key component of colony success, with smaller bees being less efficient at collecting nectar and pollen from flowers.”

Pyrethroid pesticides are commonly used on flowering crops to prevent insect damage.

The study, the first to examine the pesticides’ impact across the entire lifecycle of bumblebees, tracked the growth of bee colonies over a four month period.

Researchers exposed half the bees to a pyrethroid while monitoring the size of the colonies as well as weighing individual insects on micro-scales.

They found that worker bees from colonies affected by the pesticides over a prolonged period grew less and were significantly smaller than unexposed bees.

Findings from the study, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc), appear in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Professor Mark Brown, who led the Royal Holloway group, said: “Bumblebees are essential to our food chain so it’s critical we understand how wild bees might be impacted by the chemicals we are putting into the environment.

“We know we have to protect plants from insect damage but we need to find a balance and ensure we are not harming our bees in the process.”

Currently a Europe-wide moratorium on the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides is in force because of their alleged harmful effect on bees.

As a result, the use of other types of pesticide, including pyrethroids, is likely to increase, say the researchers.

Dr Nigel Raine, another member of the Royal Holloway team who will be speaking at this week’s national Bee Health Conference in London, said: “Our work provides a significant step forward in understanding the detrimental impact of pesticides other than neonicotinoids on wild bees.

“Further studies using colonies placed in the field are essential to understand the full impacts, and conducting such studies needs to be a priority for scientists and governments.”

The scientists sprayed the pesticide on the bees’ pollen feed at the concentration recommended for oilseed rape.

Colony growth and reproductive output were monitored for up to 14 weeks.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/20/pesticides-making-bees-smaller

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-2664/earlyview

After Bihar tragedy, FAO urges cut in hazardous pesticides

http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/07/30/fao-pesticides-bihar-midday-meal-idINDEE96T07520130730?feedType=RSS&feedName=globalCoverage2

Reuters

30 July 2013

(Reuters) – Developing countries should speed up the withdrawal of highly hazardous pesticides from their markets following the death of 23 children from contaminated food in India, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization said on Tuesday.

The children in Bihar died earlier this month after eating a school meal of rice and potato curry contaminated with monocrotophos, a pesticide considered highly hazardous by the FAO and the World Health Organization.

“Experience in many developing countries shows that the distribution and use of such highly toxic products very often poses a serious risk to human health and the environment,” the FAO said in a statement.

Monocrotophos is banned in many countries but a panel of government experts in India was persuaded by manufacturers that the product was cheaper than alternatives and more effective in controlling pests that decimate crop output.

Although the government argues the benefits of strong pesticides outweigh the hazards if properly managed, the food poisoning tragedy underlined criticism such controls are virtually ignored on the ground.

The FAO said many countries lacked the resources to properly manage the storage, distribution, handling and disposal of pesticides and to reduce their risks.

“Highly hazardous products should not be available to small scale farmers who lack knowledge and the proper sprayers, protective gear and storage facilities to manage such products appropriately,” the FAO added.

Monocrotophos is currently prohibited in Australia, China, the European Union and the United States, and in many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the FAO said.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak, editing by Silvia Aloisi and Elizabeth Piper)

 

Govt flouts its own pest control norms

http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=2732013
By Dinesh C. Sharma in New Delhi

THE regulatory system for chemical pesticides in India is in a shambles. Government agencies are themselves blatantly violating the national law meant to regulate the use of pesticides.

State agriculture departments, agriculture universities, National Horticulture Board ( NHB), Tea Board, Spices Board and other government agencies are promoting the use of harmful pesticides among farmers, a new investigation by the Centre for Science and Environment ( CSE) has revealed.

Pesticide use in the country is regulated by the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee ( CIBRC), a wing under the agriculture ministry.

Every pesticide being used in the country has to be registered with CIBRC and the registration is pest and crop specific.

However, this system is being openly flouted by government organisations which are recommending use of pesticides for crops and pests not approved by CIBRC, according to a review of pesticides being used for 11 important crops in the country — wheat, paddy, apple, mango, potato, cauliflower, black pepper, cardamom, tea, sugarcane and cotton.

The pesticide recommendations made by state agriculture universities, agriculture departments and other boards for a crop do not match those pesticides registered with CIBRC, CSE has found. “ This is completely illegal.

A particular pesticide may be registered for a particular pest and particular crop, and its use in any other way is violation of law”, said Chandra Bhushan, who led the CSE study.

For instance, the Punjab Agricultural University has recommended 40 pesticides for wheat, of which 11 pesticides are not registered by CIBRC for wheat. The agriculture department in Mad- hya Pradesh recommends 29 pesticides for wheat, of which nine are not registered. The NHB recommends 19 pesticides for apple, of which 8 are not registered. Similarly, just one of the seven NHBrecommended pesticides for cauliflower is registered with CIBRC. Violations are seen across states and across all crops.

“ What we are seeing currently is indiscriminate recommendations by universities and agriculture departments. Indiscriminate use follows naturally”, said Kavitha Kuruganti of Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture. “ As it is, we have approved a large number of chemicals, including known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors and pesticides banned elsewhere. There is no assessment being done for synergistic effects of cocktails of chemicals being used”. The CIBRC registers pesticides while the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India ( FSSAI) sets the Maximum Residue Limits ( MRLs) of pesticides for crops it has been registered for. Of 234 registered pesticides, FSSAI has not set MRLs for 59 pesticides. A review of MRL status of 20 commonly used and recommended pesticides showed that these limits for 18 pesticides are not complete.

MRLs have been set for broad groups like fruits, vegetables and food grains rather than specific crops while the pesticides have been registered for specific crops.

“ A crop is not supposed to contain residues of a pesticide, which is not registered for it. Otherwise, it will be considered adulterated. If pesticides recommended by state and other bodies are different from the CIBRC registration then the crops produced will be considered adulterated despite farmers following recommendations,” Bhushan said.

A TOXIC TALE

Multiple agencies involved in regulation, no coordination among them

States are recommending to farmers pesticides not registered with the central government

Unapproved pesticides being used for wheat, paddy, mango, apple, potato, cauliflower, black pepper, cardamom, tea, sugarcane and cotton in several states

Maximum Residue Limits ( MRLs) for 59 pesticides have not been set and those which have been set do not cover all the crops for which a pesticide has been registered

The registration process does not have sound provisions to ensure setting of MRLs before registration

No steps taken to ensure compliance with the acceptable daily intake of pesticides and monitoring of pesticide residues regularly

G LO BA L H UM A N H EA LT H – I N T H E H A N D S O F T H E P E ST I C I D E S I N D U ST RY

Compiled by Rosemary Mason MB ChB FRCA on behalf of a global network of beekeepers, toxicologists,
scientists, farmers and environmentalists. Within it, Georgina Downs, founder of the UK Pesticides
Campaign, has given a summary her evidence

Global Human Health in the hands of the Pesticides Industry

EU proposes to ban insecticides linked to bee decline

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/31/eu-proposes-ban-insecticides-bee

Three neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used insecticides would be forbidden across the continent for two years

Damian on bees : Bees flys over a sunflower in a sunflower field in Lopburi province

Three neonicotinoids would be forbidden from use on corn, oil seed rape, sunflowers and other crops across Europe for two years. Photograph: Narong Sangnak/EPA

Insecticides linked to serious harm in bees could be banned from use on flowering crops in Europe as early as July, under proposals set out by the European commission on Thursday, branded “hugely significant” by environmentalists. The move marks remarkably rapid action after evidence has mounted in recent months that the pesticides are contributing to the decline in insects that pollinate a third of all food.

Three neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used insecticides, which earn billions of pounds a year for their manufacturers, would be forbidden from use on corn, oil seed rape, sunflowers and other crops across the continent for two years.

It was time for “swift and decisive action”, said Tonio Borg, commissioner for health and consumer policy, who added that the proposals were “ambitious but proportionate”.

The proposals will enter EU law on 25 February if a majority of Europe’s member states vote in favour. France and the Netherlands are supportive but the UK and Germany are reported to be reluctant.

“It’s important that we take action based upon scientific evidence rather than making knee-jerk decisions that could have significant knock-on impacts,” said the environment secretary, Owen Paterson. “That’s why we are carrying out our own detailed field research to ensure we can make a decision about neonicotinoids based on the most up-to-date and complete evidence available.”

Luis Morago, at campaign group Avaaz which took an anti-neonicotinoid petition of 2.2m signatures to Brussels, said: “This is the first time that the EU has recognised that the demise of bees has a perpetrator: pesticides. The suspension could mark a tipping point in the battle to stop the chemical armageddon for bees, but it does not go far enough. Over 2.2 million people want the European commission to face-down spurious German and British opposition and push for comprehensive ban of neonicotinoid pesticides.”

Keith Taylor, Green party MEP for South East England MEP, said: “For too long the threat to bees from neonicotinoids has been dismissed, minimised or ignored. It is, therefore, good to see the European commission finally waking up. Bees have enormous economic value as pollinators and are vital to farmers. Let us hope that we’re not too late in halting the dramatic decline in their population.”

Scientific evidence has mounted rapidly since March 2012, when two high-profile studies found that bees consuming neonicotinoids suffered an 85% loss in the number of queens their nests produced and showed a doubling in “disappeared” bees who got lost while foraging. Neonicotinoids have been fiercely defended by their manufacturers, who claim there is no proof of harm in field conditions and by farming lobbies who say crop yields could fall without pesticide protection. Some neonicotinoid uses have been banned in the past in France, Italy, Slovenia and Germany, but no action has yet been taken in the UK. A parliamentary committee is currently investigating the impact of neonicotinoids on all pollinators and found evidence raising “serious questions about the integrity, transparency and effectiveness of EU pesticides regulation“.

On 16 January, the European Food Safety Authority, official advisers to the EC, labelled the three neonicotinoids an unacceptable danger to bees feeding on flowering crops and this prompted the proposal produced on Thursday. If approved by experts from member states on 25 February, it would suspend the use imidacloprid and clothianidin, made by Bayer, and thiamethoxam, made by Syngenta, on crops that attract bees. Winter cereals would be excluded, because bees are not active at that time, and the suspension would be reviewed after two years. The European commission is also considering banning gardeners from using these neonicotinoids, although B&Q, Homebase and Wickes have already withdrawn such products from their garden centres in the UK.

“This hugely significant proposal promises a first, important step on the road to turning around the decline on our bees,” said Friends of the Earth’s head of campaigns Andrew Pendleton. “The UK government must throw its weight behind it. The evidence linking neonicotinoid chemicals to declining bee populations is growing. It is time to put farmers and nature before pesticide company profits. Ministers must act quickly to support safe and effective alternatives to chemical insecticides.”

Late lessons from early warnings: science, precaution, innovation

The European Environment Agency has come up with the part 2 of their path breaking report “Late lessons from early warnings: science, precaution, innovation”. ( 800 pages)  with a summary report of 48 pages . The part 1 of this report was released in 2001 to global acclaim. This report and case studies is peer reviewed . According to the EEA (http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/late-lessons-2):
The 2013 Late lessons from early warnings report is the second of its type produced by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in collaboration with a broad range of external authors and peer reviewers. The case studies across both volumes of Late lessons from early warnings cover a diverse range of chemical and technological innovations, and highlight a number of systemic problems. The ‘Late Lessons Project’ illustrates how damaging and costly the misuse or neglect of the precautionary principle can be, using case studies and a synthesis of the lessons to be learned and applied to maximising innovations whilst minimising harms.
All versions of the report are available here: summary, full report,e-book, kindle form : http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/late-lessons-2
 
The GM chapter is chapter 19 ( pages 490- 517 only 20 pages all of us must read it) which compares GM technology the top down approach and agro-ecological approaches as bottom up. It goes thru case studies of whether Ht crops are suitable for global south, gives figures of GM area, the problems with confusing ‘lack of evidence of harm” with “ëvidence of lack of harm”, strangle hold of corporations, the lack of public sector and wiping out indigenous seeds , skill and so on after debating the agro-ecological approaches   and concludes that
“The early warning, or perhaps late lesson, to be heeded here is that if one follows the top-down, usually technologically oriented, approaches to innovation,the desired outcomes for addressing food insecurity will not be achieved. Top-down approaches will most likely fail to deliver on the
large promises of food security and alleviation of poverty, mainly because these approaches contribute to a feedback cycle that concentrates resources, knowledge, and influence as witnessed in the seed and agrichemicals sector (Adi, 2006; De Schutter, 2009; Fernandez-Cornejo, 2006; Howard, 2009).Through this power, top‑down providers can artificially homogenise both the conception of the problem to be solved and the solutions — such as GM crop plants — they propose. All too often questioning the rationality of the approach gets lost in the background of the unquestioning discussion over the use of the approach (Pavone, 2011 and see discussion in Boxes 19.1 an 19.2). Perhaps greater reflection and social deliberation into why and for whom agricultural innovations should be produced is needed if we are truly going to follow more sustainable pathways in the production of food and fibre. In the path ahead, societies In the path ahead, societies will have to make more conscientious choices of how to define and shape innovation to produce solutions that are appropriate for meeting global challenges related to agriculture. Bottom-up approaches are proving capable of getting sustainable, participatory and locally adapted solutions into the hands of those that need them most (Altieri, 2011a; Emerging issues | Hungry for innovation: pathways from GM crops to agroecology 510 Late lessons from early warnings: science, precaution, innovation De Schutter, 2011), but are incapable of flourishing where invention is limited to what can be easily described by prevailing IP instruments. Change the directions, distribution and diversity of innovation, and you change the world.”
Devi