A broad-based UK network is aiming to challenge the workplace cancers and other diseases and environmental impacts of pesticides and involve more workers and unions.
The Pesticide Collaboration, which already includes the union Unite and the national Hazards Campaign, said pesticide use in the UK has risen significantly in the past three decades, and the area of land treated by pesticides has increased by 63 per cent since 1990.
It added: “The body of evidence revealing the harms caused by pesticides to human health and the natural world is also increasing… The pesticide manufacturing industry, and those standing to profit from current (and increased) rates of pesticide use, are organised and well-funded.”
The campaign said: “It has never been more crucial that those invested in a healthy, just, sustainable vision for the future are able to speak with a unified and coherent voice. There are alternatives and solutions to our current over reliance on pesticides, we just have to rally around them – that’s where The Pesticide Collaboration comes in.”
It noted: “The Pesticide Collaboration brings together health and environmental organisations, academics, trade unions, farming networks and consumer groups, working under a shared vision to urgently reduce pesticide-related harms in the UK, for a healthy future.”
The collaboration said its aims are to influence UK policy, explore solutions, and amplify each other’s pesticide-related work. “Throughout all our work we aim to tackle the root systemic drivers of pesticide reliance and overuse, and advocate for the solutions required to tackle them,” it added.