With Michael Gove committed to supporting a ban on use of neonicotinoids, ManoMano’s decision to ban ‘toxic pesticides’, Friends of the Earth (FOE) issuing more than 18,000 letters to Homebase regarding their use in the pesticides they sell, many steps have been taken to get home retailers to rethink their methods and ban the use of neonicotinoids by 2018.
Most recently the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) released a statement claiming the possibility of withdrawing the Perfect fo Pollinators logo: "The Perfect for Pollinator logo represents plants to grow in gardens that provide valuable resources for pollinators, but it cannot speak for the way in which each individual plant is grown. The RHS is a charity and cannot possibly police how hundreds of thousands of plants are grown within the Horticultural Trade, in the UK and across Europe, before the point of sale. We are, therefore, considering the future of the logo and whether we should withdraw it from the market."
Responding to news that the RHS is considering the future of its Perfect for Pollinators logo following a study of UK garden centre plants - which revealed that some plants carrying bee-friendly or pollinator-friendly labels contained pesticides, including bee-harming neonicotinoids - Friends of the Earth bee campaigner Dr Nick Rau said: “Gardeners can play a crucial role in helping Britain’s bees by creating pollinator-friendly spaces - so reliable advice on the types of plant to grow is extremely valuable. The RHS is to be applauded for its role in promoting bee-friendly planting.
“However the science that neonicotinoid pesticides harm bees is clear, and there is understandable concern about plants being sold in the UK which have been grown with these chemicals.
“With leading garden retailers saying no to neonics, we hope the RHS will now use its considerable influence to back calls for flowering plants sold in the UK to be free of these bee-harming pesticides.”
Retail giant Homebase announced that it was to stop using neonicotinoids on garden plants. The top ten leading garden centres and retailers have now committed to telling their plant suppliers not to use restricted neonic chemicals. The move followed campaigning by Friends of the Earth.