31 March 1995

Watercourses blacklist, suggests BAA

BAA deputy director Dr Anne Buckenham says she was unaware of the PSD list until recently. But a similar one based solely on active ingredients was withdrawn last year after BAA objections relating to concentrations.

Her main criticism with the current list is the apparently arbitrary homing-in on watercourses rather than other criteria like protective clothing.

"It suggests a blacklisting," she says. "We understand the desire of those who want a list like that, but there are a number of problems ensuring it is accurate, kept up to date and properly distributed."

Deny triggering list

Both the National Rivers Authority and the Health and Safety Executive deny triggering the PSD list.

"The NRA is interested in any measures to prevent pollution to water courses," says a spokesman. "But it is definitely not an NRA initiative. We were not even consulted." The authority is in favour of buffer zones but the 6m figure came from the PSD, he stresses.

The HSE says its Pesticides National Interest Group is aware of the list and has distributed it to its inspectors to present a "full picture" to help growers spray safely. "But it was a MAFF/PSD initiative," says a spokeswoman.