31 March 2000

Pesticides tax fight in offing

IN the wake of Chancellor Gordon Browns Budget, the British Agrochemicals Association is working hard to firm up its options to avoid a pesticides tax.

In his statement, Mr Brown gave the BAA until mid-April to submit a formal package of measures to avoid the resurrection of the pesticide tax.

The BAAs ideas, covering water pollution, biodiversity and environmental protection, build on the science behind product registration packages and concentrate on several key areas, says a spokesman.

"We want to make sure they are rock solid and that we havent missed anything, because we can be sure critics will be looking hard."

Specifically the proposals aim to improve the flow of information to help growers make the most appropriate pesticide choices. More effort is also planned to raise standards of advice and application, and to increase farmers environmental awareness, he says.

"We are putting every effort into the exercise and are encouraged by the fact that the Government wants to get to the bottom of this issue." &#42