“There is every reason for hope …” Graham White on the UK testimony

This is a compendium of information that came from Graham White this morning:

Dear all,

Please find a summary PDF which comprises all of the evidence submitted to the Parliamentary Inquiry by a wide range of witnesses. They include vivid descriptions from a wide range of ecologists, entomologists and other researchers, of the ongoing collapse in UK populations of bees, bumblebees, butterflies, hoverflies, pollinating insects, beetles . . and the associated collapse in the populations of insectivorous farmland birds, amphibians and other wildlife on farms.

If you have the motivation and the time, please watch the following four VIDEOS of the evidence sessions. They are extremely revealing. In the video of 21st November for example, Dr Lyn Dicks of Cambridge describes the population collapse of over 2/3 of the species of common British moths – in terms of range. Dr Dicks and Dr Dave Goulson point out that almost no research into monitoring common insect populations has been funded for several decades. It seems we are living through an ecological collapse in Europe, but apart from beekeepers and ornithologists, few people are even noticing the collapse. They also said it is virtually impossible to get funding to investigate this decline of common insects.

Video, House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, November 21, 2012, (morning session)
1. Pesticide Action Network UK, and Buglife
2. National Farmers Union, and Soil Association

Video, House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, November 21,2012 (afternoon session)
1. Professor Dave Goulson, Stirling University, Professor Graham Stone, Edinburgh University, Dr James Cresswell, Exeter University, and Dr Lynn Dicks, Cambridge University

Video, House of Commons Environmental Committee, November 28, 2012
1. Syngenta, and Bayer CropScience
2. Dr Nigel Raine, University of London, Dr Chris Connolly, University of Dundee, Professor Simon Potts, University of Reading
3. UK Pesticides Campaign

Video, House of Commons Environmental Committee, December 12, 2012
1. Advisory Committee on Pesticides
2. Lord de Mauley, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and officials

This may turn out to be a definitive historical document – the first time that a wide range of information has been available to ordinary MPs and the wider public. The Committee’s eventual report will undoubtedly mark a watershed in public awareness of the role of neonicotinoids in the UK.

There is every reason for hope, since Chairwoman Joan Walley is sharp and incisive; her questions to industry and civil servants have been extremely probing and it is clear that she sees through the lies, evasions and PR spin of the poison-makers. Equally, she does not seem deflected by the smoke-screens being chugged out by the civil servants, the Advisory Cttee on Pesticides and the Chemical Regulations Directorate.

The rest of the Cttee have also asked very probing questions. They appear to be digging into all the dark corners of regulatory failure and industry’s misleading deceptions, so there is every reason for optimism about their eventual recommendations.


Graham White

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