Thursday, July 10, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 10th July 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury It seems as if we have learned nothing over recent years when it comes to protecting our environment.

A recent report has shown that far from defending the environment from damage by pesticides, we have continued to use these chemicals and regulations have failed to prevent the poisoning of almost all habitats. How shameful it is that we have not followed up the warnings given in ‘Silent Spring’, published in 1962, which catalogued the decimation of birds and insects because of the use of DDT and other pesticides.

The new, international report, which has taken four years of investigation to reach its conclusions, shows that creatures essential to food production from bees to earthworms are suffering substantial harm from these chemicals and that they must be phased out.

There is clear evidence that the damage caused by the routine use of neonicotinoids threatens the food production on which we rely. The chemicals harm bees and other pollinators which fertilise about three quarters of the world’s crops and the organisms that create healthy soils. Bees’ capability to learn and navigate is affected by these chemicals and their immune systems are damaged. Worms which perform the vital role of aerating soil lose their ability to tunnel. Birds may also be directly affected by contaminated seed.

We have been similarly careless with the overuse of antibiotics, causing us to be in the situation where we are only a tiny step ahead of the bacteria that inhabit our world and which cause so many nasty diseases.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

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