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Homebase in dispute over use of bee-harming pesticides

Honey Bee 2

The Home Improvement chain Homebase, has apparently clashed with Friends of the Earth after the campaign group accused the retailer of failing to publicly commit to end the use and sale of neonicotinoids, a banned pesticide.

Over recent months, the major home and garden retailers in the UK have pledged to stop selling flowering plants grown with these pesticides, which are thought to be responsible for killing bees.

According to campaign group Friends of the Earth, nine out of 10 of the country’s top garden retailers supported the move to reject plants grown with “neonicotinoid” pesticides, which are banned in the European Union. However, Homebase remains the only garden retailer out of the 10 surveyed not to publicly pledge action to reduce the use and sale of neonicotinoid

In May B&Q announced it would ban suppliers from using the substance, and the UK’s largest garden centre Wyevale recently bowed to pressure to ban the toxins in the supply chain.

Read - B&Q becomes first retailer to ban plants treated with neonicotinoids

Friends of the Earth are now calling on Bunnings owned Homebase to follow suit.

Nick Rau Friends of the Earth’s bee campaigner said “We’re delighted that leading garden retailers are responding to public concern and mounting scientific evidence by saying ‘no’ to plants grown with bee-harming chemicals".

“We’re particularly pleased the UK’s biggest garden centre Wyevale has listened to the thousands of people who contacted them and has pledged to work harder to ensure the removal of restricted neonicotinoids from its supply chain. We now urge Homebase to follow suit and reject these chemicals, too".

“People up and down the country have been creating pollinator-friendly gardens – they need to be confident that the plants they buy are not going to harm Britain’s bees.

“The UK Government must also act on neonicotinoids by backing a full and permanent EU ban on these chemicals across Europe – and pledging to keep any restrictions post-Brexit.”

A Homebase representative responded stating: “As the science surrounding bee populations matures, we will continue to work closely with our suppliers and partners to take responsible action with regards to ranges. We remain vigilant and continue to be guided by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs regarding the use and sale of pesticides.”

The news follows a study earlier this year in which it was revealed 70 per cent of blooms from a number of stores contained neonicotinoids, including those which are banned.

Source: Insight Team

Interested in following the debate regarding the use and sale of neonicotinoids? Sign up for the Insight DIY newsletter here.

22 August 2017

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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