20 March 1998

NCCpesticide report attacked

ACCUSATIONS by the National Consumer Council concerning the development and use of pesticides have been slammed by Ev Germon, head of manufacturer Dow AgroSciences.

The NCC report (News, Mar 13) claims new pesticides are only launched to overcome existing resistance problems and secondary pests and are designed to be difficult to find in water and food.

"The new products are hard to find in water, not because they are difficult to detect, but because they just arent there," claims Mr Germon.

Short shrift

Suggestions that resistance and secondary pests are the main targets get similar short shrift. "Can anybody think of a product where that has happened, apart from to combat blackgrass resistance?" he asks. "Of course not. And that is because the target is the pest. The market just is not there to go for secondary problems."

Left unchallenged, the NCC report will mislead consumers, he fears. "They will think new products are no better than the old chemistry. But at £60m-£70m a time we cant afford to bring new products to the market and then lose them on an environmental whim."

Manufacturers must take a positive stance against junk science and misinformation, he says. "It is the only way we can turn the tide. We have to show we are producing safe products.

"Jack Cunningham has told us he does not want to ban products, but he does want the industry to help explain why they are needed." &#42