Garden centres act on pesticides linked to bee decline
15 February 2013
Garden centres are the latest retailers to remove household products containing insecticides linked to bee decline from their shelves, Friends of the Earth revealed today (Friday, 15 February 2013).
The action by Notcutts, Hillier, Squires and Blue Diamond, which between them operate 60 garden centres across the UK, follows similar moves - revealed last month by Friends of the Earth - by DIY superstores B&Q, Homebase and Wickes.
Concern about the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on bee populations has risen sharply in recent months. Last month the European Commission proposed restictions on three neonicotinoid chemicals following a report by the European Food Safety Authority.
Friends of the Earth is urging people to contact their local garden centres to ask them to remove products containing neonicotinoid pesticides.
Friends of the Earth's Head of Campaigns Andrew Pendleton said:
"It's great to see garden centres across the UK heeding the warning from European safety experts and pulling pesticide products linked to bee decline from their shelves.
"The approach of leading retailers stands in stark contrast to the Government's reluctance to back European efforts to safeguard bees from pesticides.
"With bee numbers plummeting Environment Secretary Owen Paterson must take urgent action to safeguard these crucial pollinators by backing a ban and introducing a bee action plan to tackle all the threats they face."
Notes to editors:
1. The UK's biggest garden centre chain, the Garden Centre Group, which owns Wyevale, Blooms and Country Gardens, has told Friends of the Earth that it stocks one product containing the neonicotinoid Imidacloprid, saying "we only stock it in very small volumes. However when used according to the instructions it poses no risk to bees."
2. What the retailers told Friends of the Earth:
- Hillier said: "Hillier will withdraw any (in our case 2) products containing imidacloprid, chlothianidin, thiamethoxam. They will be off our shelves by tomorrow [6 February 2013] at the latest."
- Notcutts said: "There are many different neonicotinoids and we have removed the products with the three that were highlighted by the European Food Safety Authority whilst we look into this in more detail."
- Blue Diamond said it will: "...drop the lawn grub killer with immediate effect. We are reviewing our other products and intend to finalise our policy before Easter when sales of these products begin."
- Squires said: "We are very concerned and have withdrawn any products that contain the pesticides; clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, as a precaution."
3. Last month Friends of the Earth revealed that B&Q, Homebase and Wickes had removed - or were removing - neonicotinoids linked to bee decline. The three stores operate approximately 900 stores between them: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/now_homebase_acts_on_pesticides_and_bees_30012013.html
4. Friends of the Earth's The Bee Cause campaign is supporting individuals to make change in their gardens and communities to help bees, and asking the Prime Minister to commit to a National Bee Action Plan. To support the call to David Cameron and find out what else you can do to help bees, visit The Bee Cause webpage www.foe.co.uk/bees
If you're a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.
Published by Friends of the Earth Trust
Last modified: Feb 2013