Posted: 21/07/2012 at 12:17
I'm afraid that the BBC has been under huge pressure from the pesticide manufacturers and the Crop Protection Association, as well as their highly paid PR company. The line they take is that the BBC must always offer a 'balanced view' - so if Monty Don or Pippa Greenwood refuse to advocate the 'choice' of using systemic pesticides, then ergo the BBC is guilty of 'unbalanced reporting.'
There was a huge row last month when Monty Don was placed under huge pressure by his Producers, who tried to force him to advocate the use of Bayer's 'Provado bug Killer' as a treatment for Lily Beetles. Systemic neonicotinoids remain inside the sap, leaves and flowers of a plant for the entire growing season and render the pollen and nectar of any flower lethal to bees and butterflies.
Monty Don refused to promote neonics, and was allegedly threatened with being sacked if he did not play ball. His response was to go to the Press and challenge the BBC to sack him; he flatly refused to promote pesticides on his programme.
Many other presenters are allegedly under similar pressure to always mention that viewers should have 'the choice' of using these hyper toxic poisons on their flowers.
Pippa Greenwood was taken to task by John Hall - a beekeeper from Shropshire last week, for recommending that gardeners should use neonicotinoids for some pests. The irony is that Pippa is an advocate for organic gardening - who would not use these poisons herself; maybe she has been 'leant on'.?
TV presenter Monty Don has hit out at his BBC employers, saying he will not follow their advice on making viewers aware of nor-organic alternatives
Monty Don embroiled in row with BBC employers after refusing to follow advice to make viewers aware of non-organic products
Gardening has won him many admirers. For BBC chiefs, however, it seems the presenter’s faith is a bit too deep-rooted.
On his Gardeners’ World show on BBC2, he advised viewers that the ‘only way’ to get rid of the lily beetle – which strips plants of their leaves and flowers – ‘is to hand-pick them and then destroy them’.
His advice enraged pesticide manufacturers. In an article in a horticultural journal, they criticised him for not mentioning that their products could also remove the insect.
But instead of standing by their man, the BBC told his critics: ‘Monty often mentions non-organic alternatives and we will endeavour to ensure this is more consistent in future.’
Don, who is president of the Soil Association, was distinctly unimpressed. He said the statement had ‘irritated’ him, adding: ‘It is a classic case of the BBC not wanting to offend anyone and trying to be fair and reasonable – but at the same time getting it wrong.
‘It it nonsense, because there is nothing here that they need to defend.&rsquo