NGOs quit DEFRA pesticides forum over ‘deep environmental concerns’

The RSPB, Wildlife and Countryside Link and Pesticide Action Network UK have withdrawn from DEFRA’s pesticides forum after 20 years of participation, saying it has “consistently advocated pro-pesticide positions”.

In a letter to environment secretary Michael Gove, dated 18 April, the NGOs said the forum had “failed to take meaningful or significant action to reduce pesticide-related harms” and is  “outdated and out of step with scientific evidence, public opinion and recent precedents”.

They said the “ongoing deterioration of our environment clearly shows that voluntary measures have failed” and pointed out that the area of UK land being treated with pesticides “has risen by more than half”, with many crops “being treated more times with a wider variety of chemicals”.

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