29 March 2002

Vining pea herbicides defended

VINING pea growers could be left with much dirtier crops unless a campaign to preserve vital herbicides threatened by the EU review of active ingredients succeeds.

Widely used products like Batallion and Opogard (terbuthylazine + terbutryn), Reflex T (fomasafen + terbutryn), and Fortrol (cyanazine) are all under threat, warns Cathy Knott, chairman of the BCPCs Minor Uses Working Group.

"Unless there is a derogation they could all be gone by July 2003."

Plenty of lobbying of MEPs is taking place and the UK is not alone in wishing to retain 20 key active ingredients for a range of minor crops, says Ms Knott.

"The French have asked for 10, including fomasafen. Everybody is pulling out all the stops to keep these pesticides, to allow time to find alternatives."

To enable derogations pesticides must be deemed to have essential uses, she notes. "All the signs are that the EUs agricultural committee is extremely supportive of essential uses." &#42