Reports from Friends of the Earth have confirmed a concern I have had for some years now: the issue of contamination of ‘bee friendly plants’ bought from retail outlets, being contaminated with neonicotinoids. In particular, I’ve had major concerns about Dutch bulbs, due to a Dutch documentary I saw regarding the use of neonicotinoids in their cultivation.
Update: Please note, this page was written in 2014. The information may or may not be applicable today.
Two key reports, one from the USA, one from Europe:
Friends of the Earth in the USA have raised concerns about plants being
cultivated using neonicotinoids. Is such cultivation using neonicotinoids
happening in other countries? Here is a
quote from their report, 'Gardeners Beware':
Greenpeace also conducted a study:
'A Toxic Eden: Poisons in Your Garden; An analysis of bee-harming pesticides in ornamental plants sold in Europe'.
Samples were taken from 10 European countries:
Pesticides, including neonicotinoids, which have particular properties, such as being systemic and persistent in soil. (read more here).
Samples from the UK were not included.
(Copy and paste this link in a new window to see the report: http://sos-bees.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/A-Toxic-Eden.pdf).
- 8% Thiamethoxam
- 7% Clothianidin.
I believe we do, for several reasons:
moratorium (note, not a ban) covered only 3 of the neonicotinoids (and
Fipronil) available to growers of garden plants. Other neonicotinoids are still on the market,
and have not as yet been examined by EFSA, such as Thiacloprid and
Acetamiprid. These are still available to gardeners also.
2. Neonicotinoids are used by growers of ornamental plants in the UK. This is confirmed by usage statistics from FERA, but note that at the time of writing, statistics are only available up to the year 2012.
Imidacloprid, now restricted from use on flowering crops, was certainly used in the cultivation of ornamental plants industry in the UK:
The two neonicotinoids, Thiacloprid
and Acetamiprid, have also been used:
My concern, then, is this:
I write this, having noted and heard in a major DIY chain, a store announcement stating that the retailer has banned 3 neonicotinoids (i.e. the ones EFSA had restricted).
Only thing is, there is no mention of the
others, which are also still sold to gardeners, and are available on the
shelves. How can we know growers won't switch to one of the other neonicotinoids?
Here are some suggestions:
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