Gazelle is designed to kill wildlife
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.