Growers have been warned to watch out for a counterfeit IPU herbicide labelled as Emrald Wotsit.

Using it could constitute a breach of cross-compliance, while anyone selling or supplying it could also be committing an offence, the Pesticides Safety Directorate said.

Nearly 3000 litres of the counterfeit material had been identified, which had been manufactured to a different formulation from the approved Emrald Wotsit formulation, according to PSD’s Paul Adamson.

The formulation had been manufactured in Yorkshire, and appeared to be originally intended for export [there are no controls on exports]- possibly quite legally, he said.

Illegal

But the formulation had then been labelled as Emrald Wotsit for use in the UK and, as this formulation had not been evaluated or approved, it was illegal to sell or use in this country.

PSD believed the 3000 litres, which it had instructed the manufacturer to export, could be part of a much larger quantity of 600,000 litres, an unknown amount of which may have been placed on the UK market. “We have some information of some shipment to UK farms.”

Contact PSD

Investigations to date did not suggest the product, which does contain the correct concentration of active ingredient, should pose any efficacy or crop safety issues for any growers who had used the illegal formulation in good faith, he noted.

“But for various reasons this is clearly a counterfeit product and anyone in possession of Emrald Wotsit, particularly bought after 12 September 2007, should contact PSD to check on its authenticity.”