UK Pesticides Campaign
VI - Organisations representing local, regional and municipal authorities, other public or mixed entities, etc.
Other sub-national public authorities
“Reflections,” Runcton Lane, Runcton, n/a
Chichester, West Sussex PO201PT
(+44) 1243 773846
Ms Georgina Downs
Founder and Director
Ms Georgina Downs
Founder and Director
The UK Pesticides Campaign was founded in 2001 and is the only campaign across Europe that specifically exists to highlight the risks and adverse health, environmental and financial impacts of pesticides on rural residents and communities, as well as on other members of the public exposed. Over the last 14 years the UK Pesticides Campaign has produced extensive written and visual materials, as well as making a number of oral presentations across Europe, to highlight chemical exposure and the acute and chronic adverse impacts on residents and communities. The visual materials produced included 2 videos entitled "Pesticide Exposures for People in Agricultural Areas – Part 1 Pesticides in the Air; Part 2 The Hidden Costs".
The UK Pesticides Campaign has been campaigning for urgent changes to pesticides policies to address the lack of protection for residents from exposure to pesticides sprayed in the locality of residents’ homes, as well as in the locality of schools, children’s playgrounds and public areas, and the related risks of both acute and chronic long term adverse health effects.
The work of the UK Pesticides Campaign is widely recognised not only in the UK, but also across Europe, as well as in other countries around the world and has led to a considerable number of prestigious environmental awards and nominations. I, Georgina Downs, as the Founder and Director of the UK Pesticides Campaign, have lived next to regularly sprayed fields for over 30 years, and therefore have the direct experience of living in this situation.
The work of the UK Pesticides Campaign has been featured in national and international media since 2002. Examples of national media coverage (the majority of which would have also been available across the EU) include: the Times, Sunday Times, Guardian, Observer, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Independent; as well as on a number of BBC TV and radio programmes (including BBC Breakfast, BBC News, Politics Show, Countryfile, Today, PM, The World at One, Costing the Earth, World Service); ITV programmes (incl. ITV News); Channel 4 programmes (incl. Channel 4 News), and on Sky News. In addition a diverse range of magazines (the majority of which are also available across the EU) have featured the work of the campaign including: Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Red, Vogue, Ecologist, Private Eye, Science in Parliament, amongst others. In relation to international media coverage, articles that have featured the work of the UKPC have appeared in, amongst others, the US (including CNN), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Portugal, India, and China.
The UK Pesticides Campaign has been campaigning for the introduction of the following mandatory measures for the protection of residents and communities:-
1. The prohibition of pesticide use in the locality of residents’ homes, schools, children’s playgrounds, hospitals, nurseries, and other buildings where people may be situated. Considering the distances that pesticides have been shown to travel then the distance where the use of pesticides is prohibited needs to be substantial.
2. A new legal obligation to give rural residents at least 48 hours’ prior notification before any pesticide spraying in their locality, including notification of the chemicals to be used.
3. A new legal obligation for farmers and other pesticide users to provide information on the pesticides they use directly to residents (as third party access is inadequate, especially in the event of an acute poisoning when getting that information immediately is critical).
The UKPC has continued to argue that the only real solution to eliminate the adverse health and environmental impacts of pesticides is through the widespread adoption of non-chemical farming methods. This would be more in line with the objectives for sustainable crop production, as the reliance on complex chemicals designed to kill plants, insects or other forms of life, cannot be classified as sustainable.
Any of the EU policies, laws, and initiatives, relating to the authorisation and use of pesticides across the EU, including EU Regulation 1107/2009, the Sustainable Use Directive 2009/128/EC, Commission Regulation (EU) No 284/2013 of 1st March 2013, amongst others.
The Expert Group Forum on the SUD (Sustainable Use of Pesticides)
The main activities that the UK Pesticides Campaign has undertaken in the last year involving the EU institutions include: 1) a meeting with a Member of Commissioner Dalli’s Cabinet to make representations regarding the exposures, risks, and acute and chronic adverse health impacts of pesticides on residents and communities; 2) producing a number of detailed submissions to the European Commission on the revision of the existing data requirements (Annexes II and III); 3) producing detailed submissions to both the European Commission and to EFSA on the EFSA Scientific Opinion and proposed Guidance Document entitled, “Scientific Opinion on Preparation of a Guidance Document on Pesticide Exposure Assessment for Workers, Operators, Bystanders and Residents”; 4) producing detailed submissions to the EU commissioned project entitled “Bystanders, residents, operators and workers exposure project” (BROWSE), along with attending a 2 day stakeholder workshop in Brussels in April 2011; 5) making representations regarding the exposures, risks, and adverse impacts of pesticides on residents, at the meeting of the Expert Group on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides in June 2012; 6) producing a detailed submission to the EU commissioned study and draft final report by the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium (FCEC) entitled “the study on existing monitoring and surveillance activities, communication of the results of these activities to the public and awareness raising programmes put in place by MS on the impacts of use of plant protection products on human health and the environment.”
The UK Pesticides Campaign has been making representations since 2002 to the European institutions regarding the exposures, risks, and adverse health impacts of pesticides on residents and communities. This includes meetings with various representatives of the European Commission (both DG SANCO and DG Environment) and the EU Parliament.
The UK Pesticides Campaign was fully involved in the development of the European Community’s Thematic Strategy for Pesticides, including the new European pesticides legislation consisting of: 1) Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides (often referred to as the Sustainable Use Directive or SUD); and 2) Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market (often referred to as the PPP Regulation). During the development of the aforementioned European Community’s Thematic Strategy for Pesticides and the new European pesticides legislation (SUD and PPP Regulation), the UK Pesticides Campaign made representations on behalf of rural residents and communities affected by pesticide spraying in their locality at a number of meetings with various parties in both Brussels and Strasbourg, including: 1) the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection; 2) the European Commissioner for the Environment; 3) senior European Commission officials in both DG SANCO and DG Environment, including officials working in the Cabinets of the aforementioned Commissioners; 4) numerous MEPs from all political parties, including all the Rapporteur’s and Shadow Rapporteur’s for the Thematic Strategy, Sustainable Use Directive and PPP Regulation. The UK Pesticides Campaign also corresponded with the EU Council, as well as the Permanent Representatives of all the 27 Member States. The UK Pesticides Campaign is also on the Expert Group on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides following an invitation by the European Commission. Therefore the UK Pesticides Campaign is fully aware of the contents of both the new EU PPP Regulation and the new EU Sustainable Use Directive.
The UK Pesticides Campaign has also made detailed submissions to, and has ongoing correspondence with, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and its Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR) Scientific Panel, along with the PPR Panel’s Working Group on the Toxicology of Pesticides, regarding the exposures, risks, and acute and chronic adverse health impacts of pesticides on residents and communities.
|No accredited persons|
As a result of the UK Pesticides Campaign’s work and achievements, I myself, Georgina Downs, as the Founder and Director of the UK Pesticides Campaign, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) on 16th September 2008.
I myself am also a registered journalist under both the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists (BGAJ) and also the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) and have written a number of articles on behalf of the campaign for various publications including the Guardian, Observer, Ecologist, Outlooks on Pest Management, Positive Health magazine, Science in Parliament Magazine, amongst others.
10/2012 - 10/2013
No funding received from the EU institutions during the last closed financial year.
It is important to note that the UK Pesticides Campaign is a non-profit campaign run voluntarily. I, Georgina Downs, do not take a wage and thus the donations received are used for covering expenses incurred in running the campaign, ie. travel costs, administrative costs, printing, etc. etc.
By its registration the organisation has signed the Transparency Register Code of Conduct.