David Cameron promised the British people ‘The Greenest Government Ever’. Yet we currently have Owen Paterson as DEFRA Secretary, who:
- It is reported will vote against proposed EU restrictions to the use of just 3 neonicotinoids, to ensure they are not used on crops attractive to bees(1). This is despite independent investigation into regulatory test standards and evidence from EFSA concluding that these chemicals put bees at risk.
- Has ignored the scientific evidence on badgers and TB, and plans to proceed with the cull, despite public opposition, and the fact the government’s own chief scientist has refused to back the killings(2).
- Has backed fracking despite widespread UK and overseas concern for the potential hazards of fracking (3)
We call on David Cameron to either ensure Owen Paterson revises his stance on these issues, and henceforth adapts a stance conducive to the election promise to be “The Greenest Government Ever”, or he should select a new Defra Secretary.
(3) Examples can be seen at: http://frack-off.org.uk/resources/science-and-data/
UPDATE: MARCH 26TH 2013
- Thanks to Paterson and his team, the UK failed to support the proposed EU restrictions to just 3 of the neonicotinoids - even when the NFU admit the regulatory system was not designed to assess systemic pesticides, and 71% of the British people support a ban: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/15/bee-harming-pesticides-escape-european-ban
- On receiving 80,000 emails expressing concern regarding bees and neonicotinoids, Paterson labelled it a 'Cyber Attack': http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9940849/Owen-Paterson-calls-for-email-block-after-bee-cyberattack.html
- The badger cull is to go ahead despite opposition: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/wildlife/article3701067.ece
- Fracking companies are to be given generous tax breaks: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/20/budget-2013-george-osborne-shale-gas-boom