To: Fergus Ewing,Roseanna Cunningham,Jo O’Hara ( Forestry Commission)
Ban neonicotinoids in Forestry
Ban use of environmentally and health damaging insecticides in Forestry.
Invest in and support the alternatives.
Why is this important?
Forestry is practiced in remote otherwise unpolluted places . These powerful biocides ( alpha cypermethrin and acetamiprid) cause damage to ecosystems, enter water courses including private drinking water supplies.
The industry is poorly regulated and breaches of existing (inadequate) guidelines are frequent. Guidelines are based on flawed , incomplete and outdated data.
Complacency is endemic throughout the industry.
I have worked in the Forestry industry for 35 years running one of the few ( or only) female led contracting businesses in Forestry in the UK. Two younger members of my family and many good friends also work in Forestry. Foreign studies link both commonly used chemicals with health problems among Forestry and nursery workers . An FOI request has not so far turned up any short , medium or long term studies in the uk . So far no studies exist into whether these chemicals get into water supplies.
But we know they do. We got samples analysed pre and post a very small scale planting and have proved the presence of 2 banned substances in a private supply and acetamiprid in a stream nearby ( it took me months to get a buffer zone agreed upon in an attempt to protect my supply-guidelines were broken.
So what to do .
1) ban the use of these biocides
2) invest heavily in the continued development of alternatives ie natural waxes and physical barriers
3) practice better more sustainable forestry ( smaller clearfells , more species diversity etc)
Sweden is rapidly phasing out the use of insecticides due to environmental and human health concerns . The rest of Scandinavia and the Baltic countries are following.
The implications of poisoning many of the bottom rung of the food chain should be clear to see but again no environmental follow up studies are done.