UPDATE: Meeting with the Rt Hon Geoffrey Cox, QC, Cabinet Minister & Attorney General in regards to the use, and loss, of toxic lead in angling.

UPDATE: Meeting with the Rt Hon Geoffrey Cox, QC, Cabinet Minister & Attorney General in regards to the use, and loss, of toxic lead in angling.

For those interested, the below is an update in my endeavours to highlight the environmental issues of the continued use of toxic lead within angling, which is proven to cause health issues (especially in children) as well as leading to massive negative environmental consequences.

I am pleased to be able to say that Geoffrey Cox gave me a substantial amount of time on 8th December 2018, i.e. my time allocation was 15 minutes but I spent 45 minutes discussing the substantial evidence that I was able to produce. Geoffrey had received feedback from both the EA and DEFRA which in essence were two very short letters (almost verbatim) denying there was an issue. These letters, in my opinion, were more than pitiful in their content and I was able to prove to Geoffrey some very worrying facts that both these bodies had not even touched upon including:

1. The recent European Chemicals Agency comprehensive report, which concluded a whole host of evidence against using this toxin within angling including evidence of:
a) Harm to humans through manufacture.
b) Harm to children, especially infants.
c) Harm to the environment in general, especially a focus on deaths of wildfowl.
This report also focused on the fact that the carp angling fraternity are ‘dumping’ lead on purpose.
2. The World Health Organisation – absolute proof that there is NO safe levels of exposure to lead and their serious concerns that lead angling weights are causing health issues in children
3. Holland’s introduction this year of a ban on angling leads due to its toxicity.
4. The ‘defence’ of the industry that plastic coatings encased the toxin was flawed, to include:
a) The plastic will come off in time
b) The plastic is not a solution as the lead is still there and still toxic for the generations to come.
c) Dumping more plastic into the environment, on top of the lead, is against any form of good practice i.e. we all know of the negatives of plastic in the environment.
5. The fact that the EA and DEFRA have failed to look at the impact of this vast tonnage of toxic lead will be having within the substrate of our water systems where huge amounts of life lives and breeds
6. Why had the EA not taken my offer of professional discussions when armed with such substantial evidence.
7. That certain points within the EA and DEFRA’s responses were flawed, e.g. that anglers were now using non toxic alternatives in growing numbers.

I must admit, I found it unbelievable that these facts had not been given to a Politician of such high office as the Attorney General by the EA and DEFRA and by proving these I was pleased to hear that Geoffrey was taking the situation very seriously and would now question both the EA and DEFRA. He was especially concerned that the evidence from the ECHA report was so damning.

Unfortunately, with a UK fishing industry in denial (you can only question why with so much evidence and come to a conclusion it focuses around profits?) and certain influences within angling failing in a duty of care in regards to children’s health and serious environmental concerns then there is still much to do. I believe Geoffrey Cox is supportive and will now question the position of the EA and DEFRA.

There is now massive support against the use, especially the deliberate dropping, of lead in angling and these are still early days with more and more action planned by myself and others. Those who continue to malign me really need to start looking at the evidence and the fact that lead is going to be banned – not because of my position but through bodies like European Chemicals Agency and The World Health Organisation. Anyone who continues to defend what has become an undefendable position on lead can only be scrutinised on their intent. Those who dismiss need to realise that this is a serious issue that can be stopped very quickly – the advocating of the dumping of lead needs to be stopped immediately, though I fear that the serious damage is already done and has become an environmental time bomb waiting to explode. The evidence that children can be harmed is surely enough evidence to stop this issue and I find it hard to believe that those who attempt to defend appear to ignore this evidence. Is it a case of profit over the health and safety of children?

The trouble is we have a set of detractors who also influence and their defence is just denial; denial when the proof is the swathes of evidence and I would ask each and every angler to question this stance of rejection and to really research the ‘agenda’ which becomes so obvious under even the most basic of scrutiny. As parents we have a duty of care to protect our children and as anglers we have a duty of care to protect the environment.

Mainstream media are now becoming aware and a Change.org petition has been implemented. If, like me, you see the failings and echo my concerns please ensure to support a change that protects children, protects wildlife and the environment in general. Lead is toxic, the evidence is overwhelming, and basic common sense is being shredded by a few who deny for their own purpose as they ignore the evidence.

Last but not least, I would also ask you to question why an industry that pretends to focus on fish welfare and the environment continues to ignore. The part of the industry that will be especially vilified on top of the manufacturers will be the written media – for years they have turned a blind eye to this issue and have enthusiastically supported the use and dropping of lead into the environment. My question to these editors and writers is why they have been so aligned and is it not a simple case that they have done so to appease your advertisers as I truly believe to be the case. If this is the situation you should be ashamed and worried as the truth is out there and the fact that you have supported such a wilful practice is well documented especially on the likes of your own Face Book sites, YouTube and back copies. Whatever the situation, ignorance or pretence of ignorance can never be a defence.

No doubt this update will see my usual bunch of ‘haters’ who hide behind their keyboards make their feelings known. Fortunately they seem to be a dying breed as even the most naïve are starting to realise that the evidence weighs heavy against any of the flawed assumptions they attempt to pedal.

The time is here for us now to take responsible action against the parties that have been happy to jeopardise health and risk the environment for their own purposes. We have a duty of care and we need to stand shoulder to shoulder and force a change!

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Comment (1)

  • Michael Stone Reply

    this seems like a good step forward.
    but who owns a patent for a stone or pebble to be used as a weight? what are your true intentions here?

    i hope lead is banned but your motives are fishing,,,,pun intended

    11th January 2019 at 7:27 pm

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