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Defra urged to keep robust UK pesticide controlsqrcode

Mar. 10, 2011

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Mar. 10, 2011

Crop protection sector urges Representatives of the UK pesticide supply sector are urging the Government to maintain current controls on the use and distribution of pesticides as the EU Sustainable Use Directive is implemented into UK law.

The Crop Protection Association (CPA) and Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) have both written to Defra Secretary Caroline Spelman expressing concern that the Government’s plans to transpose the text of the Directive directly into UK law could undermine the status of current professional standards on user and adviser certification and training.

The focus of concern is the UK Government’s recent decision to transpose all European Directives directly into UK law to avoid any ’gold-plating’ of EU legislation. In the case of the Sustainable Use Directive, Member States would be required to provide access to training, rather than stating that all sprayer operators and advisers must be trained and certificated by law.

CPA and AIC are urging the Government to ensure that the UK implementing legislation reflects the intent of the Directive to reinforce controls on the use and distribution of pesticides, rather than weaken them. In particular, they want to see a continuation of the UK’s current statutory requirement for certification of sprayer operators and an extension of this requirement to all advisers, as well as new statutory provisions for ongoing training and professional development.

"Normally we would support Government moves to avoid gold-plating of EU legislation, but in this case it could result in a dilution of the existing robust UK controls on pesticide use," said CPA chief executive Dominic Dyer. "While the Voluntary Initiative and Farm Assurance Schemes may ensure that standards are maintained among the farmers and growers they cover, overall we feel this would be a backward step after the UK crop protection sector has worked hard to set the highest stewardship standards in Europe."

"If transposed directly, the Sustainable Use Directive has the potential to sweep away current professional standards on user and adviser certification and training," said AIC chief executive David Caffall. "This is a particular concern in sectors where uptake of schemes is voluntary and membership of assurance schemes is not a requirement. The industry remains committed to promoting best practice in the distribution and use of pesticides and this must be underpinned by legislation to protect and enforce minimum standards."

Source: farming uk


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