NFU Scotland has welcomed acceptance by Defra that proposed controls
on the use of pesticides are not scientifically justified.
In September 2005, the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
(RCEP) produced a report which recommended a number of additional
controls on the use of pesticides. Most notably, these would have
legally required buffer strips around the edges of fields within
which pesticides could not be sprayed and would also have required
farmers to notify all their neighbours prior to spraying.
NFUS stressed in its response to the report that it backs strict
controls on the use of pesticides providing they are based on sound
science, which the RCEP proposals were not. The Union also emphasised
the significant level of controls already in place which are supplemented
by the Voluntary Initiative and farm assurance schemes.
Defra has rejected these two key proposals which caused concern
NFUS President John Kinnaird said:
“I am pleased that Defra has reacted to our concern that
these proposed controls were disproportionate by rejecting them.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of the products
we use, after all, farms are family homes as well as workplaces.
However, that is why we already have an incredibly strict control
regime for pesticides and there is a great deal of testing done
on these products before they ever get close to the market place.
“The Royal Commission said itself that there was some uncertainty
over the science behind its proposals – that makes the case
for further research not more regulation, the benefits of which
“Prior notification in particular could turn into another
bureaucratic nightmare and weather unpredictability requires some
flexibility in spraying decisions. The last thing anybody wants
is farmers being unable to spray when the conditions are most suitable
because of a requirement to post notices and give the surrounding
area notification beforehand.”
pesticide response a vote of confidence in self-regulation
Defra consults on GM coexistance measures
for Citrus Longhorn Beetles
Market Update from Gleadell