Just four of the 27 EU Member States have completed and agreed National Action Plans (NAPs) to arrive at sustainable levels of pesticide use: all 27 NAPs are supposed to be transposed into national law by the end of this year.
So far, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and France are the only EU Member States to have finalised NAPs as required by the EU framework directive on the sustainable use of pesticides (Directive 2009/128/EC of 21 October 2009). PAN-Europe has published a downloadable checklist of what constitutes NAP best practice.
“Pesticides Action Network-UK is trying to get the UK government to implement the new Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive by including ambitious and far reaching measures within the new National Action Plan,” policy officer Nick Mole told ARC.
“We would like to see measures that include a phase out of some of the most hazardous pesticides, including those toxic to bees, a ban on the use of pesticides in certain areas such as parks and schools and most importantly measures that will assist with the adoption and implementation of meaningful Integrated Pest Management across all sectors where pesticides are used,” he explained.
“At present it appears that the UK is not willing to introduce such measures for a number of reasons which include the closeness of their relationship with the agrochemical industry that wishes to maintain the status quo, their inability to accept the findings of independent research on such things as bee toxic pesticides and an ideological dislike of new legislation particularly if said legislation emanates from the EU.”
PAN-UK also faces stonewalling from mainstream media. “We get a response to campaigns around bees, since people know what bees do and can relate to the issues. Pesticides are an almost invisible part of industrial farming that is surprisingly easy for chemical companies to keep out of the public eye.”