24 May 2002

Anti-rhizo move is set

NEW measures to protect the UKs sugar beet industry from rhizomania have been announced by the NFU and British Sugar with DEFRA looking set to fund at least part of the cost.

The move follows the governments refusal to defend the UKs protected zone status, which was lost in March, and the recent discovery of new strains of the disease.

A key feature is that rhizo-infected roots will be deliberately allowed into factories for the first time.

"This policy strikes a balance between the industrys interests, commercial realities and effective disease containment," says the NFUs Mike Blacker.

"The damaging effects of this disease should not be under-estimated," adds BSs Peter Williams.

&#8226 Turn to p55 for more on rhizo and p66-73 for our Sugar Beet Special. &#42