18 April 2001
Off-label approvals saved from axe

By FWi staff

VITAL work to ensure growers of minor crops have access to pesticides not otherwise supported by manufacturers appears to have been safeguarded.

Growers feared research backing specific off-label approvals (SOLAs) for pesticides would dry up when the main source of information closed on 31 March.

Horticulture Research International closed its site at Stockbridge House, Cawood, North Yorkshire, which manages SOLA residue testing, to save money.

One hundred and fifty jobs were also lost in cutbacks at HRI, which is sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture to undertake research for UK horticulture.

But now Stockbridge Technology Centre, which was established earlier this month, is expected to take over the HRI Stockbridge House site.

The new firm will rent the site from an educational charitable trust specifically set up to buy the site from MAFF.

SOLAs ensure that growers of crops such as field vegetables have access to products which would not otherwise be supported.