Gazelle is de­signed to kill wildlife

The Oban Times - - Letters -

Sir, With ref­er­ence to Tim Lid­don’s let­ter ( The Oban Times, April 27), can I re­mind read­ers that it was Mr Lid­don who, in Round and About (Mull) in March, re­ferred to Gazelle as a her­bi­cide.

The For­est Stew­ard­ship Coun­cil (FSC) class the ac­tive in­gre­di­ent ac­etamiprid as a ‘ highly haz­ardous pesticide’, due the na­ture of its abil­ity to kill not only wee­vil but a whole range of in­no­cent in­sects such as bees, flies, aquatic life and af­fect small mam­mals.

Gazelle is tech­ni­cally re­ferred to as a bio­cide. It is a very strong neu­ro­toxin de­signed to dis­rupt the com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween nerves and mus­cles: it is de­signed to kill.

May I also re­mind Mr Lid­don that our swal­lows, bats, wrens, cuck­oos, dun­nocks, war­blers, wood­peck­ers, buz­zards, hen har­ri­ers, ot­ters, ea­gles and our wild plants ul­ti­mately all de­pend on these in­sects to sup­port the ecosys­tems here on Mull and in turn the multi-mil­lion-pound eco tourism in­dus­try which many of the lo­cals de­pend on, in­clud­ing CalMac. The local econ­omy does not de­pend on forestry.

Neon­i­coti­noid-treated plants are poi­sonous. In­sects only need to make contact with con­tam­i­nated soil, feed on the plant or its liq­uids ex­uded through gut­ta­tion. Ac­etamiprid is highly sol­u­ble in wa­ter and volatile. In Oc­to­ber 2016 the Euro­pean Food Safety Au­thor­ity (EFSA) ex­pressed con­cerns about this par­tic­u­lar sub­stance in sur­face run- off wa­ter be­ing used by pri­vate wa­ter sup­plies for con­sump­tion.

Bel­gium (2016) has asked the Euro­pean Chem­i­cals Agency for a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion re­gard­ing this sub­stance due to its ‘per­sis­tence and tox­i­c­ity’ and the UN in Jan­uary 2017 pub­lished a large doc­u­ment voic­ing its con­cerns at the in­dis­crim­i­nate use and im­ple­men­ta­tion of reg­u­la­tions around the world of pes­ti­cides.

There are ru­mours that all of these neon­i­coti­noids will be banned in Europe this year.

Be­cause it is cur­rently li­censed in the UK does not mean that it will con­tinue for much longer or that it is safe or that it is be­ing used at the rec­om­mended di­lu­tions.

I have asked in writ­ing from Mr Lid­don where the tree stock is com­ing from and what con­cen­tra­tions are be­ing used to treat the trees. But to date I have had no re­sponse. Are these trees from Scot­tish nurs­eries? Who is mon­i­tor­ing con­cen­tra­tions of chem­i­cals? Are the plant­ing team lo­cals or from Europe?

Til­hill was also un­able to an­swer any ques­tions re­gard­ing long-term en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact at Pen­nyghael at the Mull Com­mu­nity Coun­cil meet­ing in Craignure on April 11.

Re­gard­ing cli­mate change, may I re­mind Mr Lid­don that grass­lands also se­quester car­bon diox­ide but the soil can­not if its mi­cro or­gan­isms are de­stroyed through neon­i­coti­noid con­tam­i­na­tion? J L Laura, Langa­mull, Isle of Mull.

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