Bee-killing pesticides out of British supermarkets

This video is called Science Bulletins: Bee Deaths Linked to Common Pesticides.

From Wildlife Extra:

Waitrose removes three neonicotinoids from supply chain

Buglife delighted that Waitrose remove dangerous neonicotinoid products from supply chain

April 2018. Following on from The UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) recommendation that the use of toxic insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, be suspended, supermarket giant Waitrose is asking all of its suppliers of fruit, vegetables and flowers to avoid the use of three formulations of neonicotinoid based pesticides on crops destined for the supermarket. The move comes in light of concerns about their effects on bees, butterflies and other important pollinators.

‘Seven Point Plan for Pollinators

Under a ‘Seven Point Plan for Pollinators’ (see below) that begins immediately, farmers supplying Waitrose are to stop using three systemic formulations of neonicotinoids by the end of 2014 at the latest. The three formulations – imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam – will no longer be used on crops attractive to bees and other pollinators. The restriction on use is a precautionary measure and will remain in place until scientists can demonstrate conclusively whether or not the formulations are adversely affecting populations of pollinator insects.

The approach will also be rolled out progressively to commodity crops such as oil seed rape on the Waitrose Farm at Leckford in Hampshire and as soon as practicable to other areas of the arable sector that supply Waitrose.

Buglife delighted that Waitrose remove dangerous neonicotinoid products from supply chain

Vanessa Amaral-Rogers, Buglife Pesticides Officer said “This is a huge step in the right direction, leading the way for other retailers to follow. By voicing their concern for pollinators they are adding pressure and weight to the campaign for a ban on the use of neonicotinoids”

Vanessa said “By taking these precautionary measures Waitrose have shown an admirable commitment to the long term security of our wild insect pollinator health and populations.”

Waitrose owns its own 4,000 acre farm at Leckford in Hampshire, which has been part of the John Lewis Partnership for nearly 90 years. Managed to high environmental standards, it produces a rich variety of goods for Waitrose including milk, cider, apples, mushrooms, Leckford chicken and rapeseed oil.

Research project

In addition the supermarket chain has announced that it will fund a significant research project with the University of Exeter into the effects on pollinators of multiple pesticide use. The work will look at the impact of combinations of neonicotinoids and other pesticides on pollinators. The results of the three year programme will be used to develop alternative methods of pest control.

Waitrose Director of Quality & Technical David Croft said: “We have been looking at pollinator health for some time in close collaboration with our fresh produce suppliers. Given the concern about these pesticides and the need to support pollinators we believe this is a responsible precautionary step as part of a wider, holistic approach under our seven point plan.

“The role of pollinating insects such as bees is crucial in sustaining agriculture in the long term, as part of a thriving ecosystem that will support food security, healthy diets and the wider agricultural economy.

“The current debate on the decline of pollinators has raised attention about the potential adverse impact of neonicotinoid pesticides. With this in mind, and in favour of strengthening pollinator presence, Waitrose is supporting a precautionary approach with these chemicals.”

The Waitrose Seven point plan for pollinators

Waitrose is:

Supporting the EU’s review into the use of three key neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam), on crops attractive to bees.

Avoiding the use of these three neonicotinoids in our fruit, vegetable and flower supply chains for Waitrose products. This will focus on flowering plants attractive to pollinators and see these pesticides being phased out worldwide, beginning immediately and working over the next two seasons.

Supporting further research into pollinators through the University of Exeter. The work will look at the impact of neonicotinoids, other pesticides and the combination of both on pollinators. The results will contribute to the development of alternative methods of pest control if the chemicals are found to have long term adverse effects. This will be a three year programme of work.

Ensuring, through our farm engagement and supply chain development work via the Waitrose Farm Assessment that all fresh produce farms initially (and arable farms subsequently) monitor and develop bee/pollinator activity. This is based on our previous work with the University of Sussex, via our Agronomy Group, where Waitrose and our fresh produce suppliers work closely together to strengthen standards.

Strengthening control frameworks for our commodity crop ingredients such as wheat and oil seed rape, adopting the LEAF standard in these sectors as a proven platform for future environmental development. This will support the delivery of learnings from our produce agronomy and CEUKF activity in the arable sector. Our own Waitrose farm at Leckford is already LEAF certified for these crops.

Engaging our consumers including Waitrose Partners (who are co-owners of our business, as well as working in our business) to gather more data on pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, through their own observations. Customers will be asked to share their observations via web developments and apps that are being developed jointly with Earthwatch and the University of Sussex, to contribute to the growing fact base on pollinators and so help to frame future developments that support pollinators.

Investing in the development of organic farming to support a wide range of crops that enable choice for consumers. Our support for organic farming also extends to funding from the sale of Duchy Originals from Waitrose that, via the Prince of Wales Charitable Trust, is enabling the Soil Association to develop and share learnings from organic farming across all farming areas to support and strengthen sustainability for the future.

Study shows reproductive effects of pesticide exposure span generations: here.

September 2013. In its response to the EU recommendations, the UK Government “misrepresents its own science in deciding not to implement recommendations to save pollinators from neonicotinoid pesticides” according to Buglife-The Invertebrate Conservation Trust: here.

12 thoughts on “Bee-killing pesticides out of British supermarkets

  1. Pingback: Bee-killing Bayer’s secrets revealed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Bayer’s neonicotinoids kill birds, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Dutch bird-poisoning poacher arrested | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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