UK Pesticides Campaign

UK Pesticides Campaign

The UK Pesticides Campaign is a campaign started in 2001 by Georgina Downs with the aim of changing the United Kingdom Government's policy on the use of pesticides in agriculture within the UK.

Current regulations for the use of pesticides in the UK require that workers wear appropriate protective clothing and follow prescribed procedures for the handling of toxic agricultural substances. These regulations do not extend to exposure of such substances by members of the public. Farmers are not required by law to reveal the nature of the chemicals they use, nor are there any rules limiting how close to adjacent premises they may spray a chemical.Fact|date=September 2007

The UK Presticide Campaign challenges current policy by focusing on pesticide exposure for people in agricultural areas.


The Campaign originated from the ill health suffered by its founder, Georgina Downs. While living in a rural location during her teens and early twenties, Downs suffered repeated illness due to cumulative bystander exposure of pesticide spraying from nearby agricultural farmland. Her repeated suffering prompted Downs to investigate the issue of pesticides and their effect on human health. Her research also included a study of current legislation on the use of pesticides. What she found fired her will to challenge the UK Government's policy on pesticide use.

UK Pesticides Campaign

The Campaign centres on the issue of pesticide exposure for people in agricultural areas. Downs conducted her own research into the problem and discovered that farmers are not legally obliged to inform nearby residents of the type of chemicals used, nor how dangerous they are. Yet, these same farmers have to adhere to any safety regulations when using the chemicals, such as wearing protective clothing. Although laws exist to limit the amount of pesticide residues in soils and plants, no laws exist to protect the public from the spraying of pesticides.

The Campaign has gained support from members of the public in rural areas who have suffered illness due to their proximity to farms that use pesticides, from organisations related to environmental concerns, and from awards organisations that honour outstanding achievement. Downs now has a database of nearly one thousand cases of people living in areas where pesticides are used regularly.

The UK Pesticides Campaign has gained media exposure since its inception, with newspaper, TV, and radio reports and interviews in the UK.

The Campaign is not alone in its pursuit of tighter regulations, with there being similar concerns about pesticide use in other countries such as the United States, and within the EU.

Campaign chronology

*2001 - Downs started the UK Pesticide Campaign to challenge UK Government policy.

*2002 - the Campaign presented to the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) its first evidence suggesting a causal link between pesticide spraying and ill health. The Committee subsequently rejected the evidence as insufficient. Perversly, the UK Government's Pesticides Safety Directive (PSD) recognises the danger of pesticides to organisms as they lead a campaign to protect wildlife against illegal poisoning by the use of pesticides.

*2004 - the Environment Minister said there was no evidence to support the introduction of buffer zones, but requested the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) to carry out an independent study into the effects of pesticides on human health.

*2005 - the RCEP's report agreed with Downs' claim that current regulations are inadequate, and concluded that crop spraying is a health risk. However, its recommendation was that a minimum five-metre buffer zone be imposed around sprayed areas as a precautionary measure. Downs considered this conclusion to be arbitrary and inadequate.

*2006 - the UK Government rejected the RCEP report's conclusion stating that the fears were "not robustly founded in scientific evidence" and highlighting the "lack of rigour in the underlying science" of the evidence.

*To date, the Government has ignored the independent evidence and recommendations of the Campaign and the RCEP.


# [ UK Pesticide Campaign, Georgina Downs biography page]
# [ The Ecologist, "Pesticide Nun"]
# [ Warmwell "Campaign to regulate pesticides"]
# [ Warmwell "Key Government Advisors (the ACP) Criticised Over Pesticides"]
# [ BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour, "Georgina Downs - Pesticide Campaigner"]
# [ BBC Breakfast TV, "Pesticides"]
# [,,1821681,00.html The Guardian, "Judgment day for pesticide crusader"]
# [ European Commission, "Food Safety - Plant Health"]
# [!OpenDocument Soil Association, "Government rejects demands to protect the public from pesticides"]
# [ PSD "The Campaign Against Illegal Poisoning of Wildlife (CAIP)"]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • North American Pollinator Protection Campaign — The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) is a multifaceted organization of academics, government officials, policy makers, and industry stakeholders working towards pollinator conservation in North America. NAPPC works in… …   Wikipedia

  • Joe Lieberman presidential campaign, 2004 — On January 13 2003, Lieberman announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination as a candidate in the 2004 presidential election. Describing his Presidential hopes, Lieberman opined that his historically hawkish stance would appeal to… …   Wikipedia

  • Georgina Downs — Female adult bio name = Georgina Downs location = UK ethnicity = White: British alias = Pesticide Nun homepage = Downs is the founder of the UK Pesticides Campaign. After many years of ill health due to …   Wikipedia

  • PepsiCo — Infobox Company name = PepsiCo, Inc. type = Public (nyse|PEP) genre = foundation = (1965) founder = location = area served = Worldwide key people = Indra K. Nooyi (Chairwoman), (President) (CEO) industry = Food Non alcoholic beverage products =… …   Wikipedia

  • DDT — For other uses, see DDT (disambiguation). DDT …   Wikipedia

  • environment — environmental, adj. environmentally, adv. /en vuy reuhn meuhnt, vuy euhrn /, n. 1. the aggregate of surrounding things, conditions, or influences; surroundings; milieu. 2. Ecol. the air, water, minerals, organisms, and all other external factors… …   Universalium

  • Criticism of Coca-Cola — The Coca Cola Company, its subsidiaries and products have been subject to sustained criticism by both consumer groups and watchdogs, particularly since the early 2000s. Allegations against the company are varied and criticism has been based… …   Wikipedia

  • Coca-Cola — This article is about the beverage. For its manufacturer, see The Coca Cola Company. Coca Cola Classic redirects here. For the NCAA football game, see Coca Cola Classic (college football). Coca Cola …   Wikipedia

  • Rachel Carson — Infobox Writer name = Rachel Louise Carson imagesize = 200px caption = Rachel Carson, 1940 Fish Wildlife Service employee photo pseudonym = birthdate = birth date|mf=yes|1907|5|27|mf=y birthplace = Springdale, Pennsylvania deathdate = death date… …   Wikipedia

  • Silent Spring — Infobox Book name = Silent Spring title orig = translator = image caption = The Book of the Month Club edition, with included endorsement by William O. Douglas author = Rachel Carson cover artist = country = United States language = English… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”