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Buglife to take legal action against neonics.

Lifted from the natural beekeeping forum.
I applaud their stand but hope they have plenty of money.
Press release

Tuesday 13th November 2012. Immediate release

Wildlife charity threatens legal action over bee killing pesticides
Wildlife charity, Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust is asking the Government to justify its decision to allow the use of bee killing pesticides or face a court case.
Buglife has sent DEFRA (Dept of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) a letter outlining a possible case as a preliminary to legal action.
Buglife has also submitted the letter as evidence to the current House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into the impact of insecticides on bees and other insects.
Buglife argue that the legislation is clear; governments must take a precautionary approach in regulating pesticides.
As a result, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia have suspended various neonicotinoid insecticides.
Meanwhile in the UK neonicotinoid use has grown to the point where they are used on 1.2 million hectares of the British countryside.
Matt Shardlow, Buglife Chief Executive Officer said
"Buglife has repeatedly raised concerns about the potential that these insecticides have to damage pollinators and the service they provide to us, but every time new bee damage evidence is published Government repeats that there is not enough proof to act. We believe that Government must stop their use now because there is no proof that neonicotinoids are environmentally safe".
"If we lose, bees, hoverflies, butterflies, mayflies and earthworms then wildflowers, garden flowers and fruits will dwindle and we will all suffer. This loss could cost UK farmers an estimated 510 million annually in crop yield, with the addition of alternative pollination methods costing a further 1.8 billion each year".
For years Buglife has been concerned that pesticide regulation is unable to identify which pesticides will damage populations of wild, non-target, invertebrates. Buglife is questioning the grounds on which Defra made the decision that $B!F (Bno change in the existing regulation of neonicotinoids is required' and considers that the decision is open to challenge by way of a judicial review.
Buglife believes that making the process for deciding what pesticides can be used in the countryside much more open and precautionary will better protect a wide range of wildlife.
Notes for Editors
For more information and interview please contact Buglife CEO Matt Shardlow on 01733 201 210 or 07921700151 or email
Buglife-The Invertebrate Conservation Trust is the only charity in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates, and is actively working to save Britain's rarest bugs, bees, butterflies, ants, worms, beetles and many more fascinating invertebrates. Further information is available on Buglife's website at Follow us on Twitter @buzz_dont_tweet and $B!F (BLike us' on Facebook: Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust.

Neonicotinoids summary
Please see attached letter sent on 8th November to House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee.
Buglife is challenging the decision not to restrict neonicotinoid uses included in the report 'Neonicotinoid insecticides and bees: the state of the science and the regulatory response', Defra, 13 September 2012
Neonicotinoids are a comparatively recent type of insecticide that targets the central nervous system of insects. These insecticides are getting into pollen and nectar, blowing as seed dust into hedgerows and seeping through the soil into rivers and ponds. There has been growing concern from a mounting array of scientific studies that show that they make bees more susceptible to disease, less able to forage and reduce breeding rates.
To view the Environmental Audit Committee news story click on the link below:
To read Defra's review of neonicotinoid insecticides and bees click on the link below
To find out more about Buglife's campaign on neonicotinoids please click on the link below
To read Buglife's report on the impact of neonicotinoids on honey bees, bumblebees and non-target invertebrates please click on the link below
Pollination by insects is worth 17 billion/yr to EU agriculture. A reduction in pollinator populations of just 5% will cost agriculture more than the 0.8 billion economic benefit of using neonicotinoids that is claimed by the pesticide companies.
The most worrying scientific paper found an 85% reduction in the number of queens produced by bumblebee colonies that had been fed, for just two weeks, with 'field-realistic' levels of neonicotinoids. The strongest criticism that Defra makes of the study is that "It may be significant that the control bees consumed nectar and pollen whereas the treatment bees were given a different diet of treated pollen and sugar water." It may be significant, but it would be fanciful to think that this difference explained the 85% reduction in breeding success; it is much more probable that it was the insecticide, not the water.
Another paper showing that bees are killed by dust released when neonicotinoid treated seeds are planted is excluded from the main body of the report and apparently neutralised in an appendix by the statement that "This route of exposure will be considered as part of the new EU guidance document". This can hardly be considered to be a solution!
To counter that scientific evidence of damage and impairment to honeybees in published papers Defra refers to unpublished and unavailable honeybees studies undertaken by pesticide companies (not bumblebee studies - such studies do not exist for non-honeybee pollinators). This use of these unpublished regulatory studies is rather undermined by the statement in the report from the Government's Advisory Committee on Pesticides that "the regulatory studies were not designed with detailed statistical analysis in mind, and their power to detect statistically significant changes is not established".
Wild bees have annual lifecycles and small reductions in breeding success could trigger population declines, the Defra report presents no evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides are not killing, disabling and impairing wild bees, thereby contributing to their disappearance from the countryside.

Matt Shardlow
Chief Executive

Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust
Bug House
Ham Lane
Orton Waterville

01733 201210
079 21 700151

Remind me. I need to take a proper look at that on a proper screen.

It does not seem clear what legal action they seek to take. It has been a long day, maybe I missed it.

If I come join that forum will you introduce me or disown me? Wink

This could be interesting. I thought there was a pretty big scientific consensus about how harmful neonicoitnoid insecticides are? If it does come to court I'd be very interested to hear DEFRA's arguments.

If it does come to court I'd be very interested to hear DEFRA's arguments.

Yes me too. Here in France, the neonics were banned this year - hooray.
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