IPU use to be banned by June 2009

Products containing IPU (isoproturon) are to be phased out from this year and will be banned completely by 30 June 2009, the Pesticides Safety Directorate has announced today (15 March).

In addition, all existing approvals are being amended with immediate effect to restrict the maximum application rate to 1.5kg/ha – the rate considered for Annex I inclusion.

The decision follows an Advisory Committee on Pesticides risk assessment, which concluded that the product posed an “unacceptable risk to aquatic life”, arising from the movement of IPU into surface watercourses.

The ACP report said that this risk could not be satisfactorily managed and therefore all products containing IPU – either straight or in a mix with other actives such as pendimethalin, trifluralin, diflufenican, etc – should not be re-registered for use in the UK.

An extended phase-out period was chosen in order to give the industry time to adjust and find suitable alternatives for weed control in cereals. A number of interim deadlines have been announced:

• Sale by Approval Holders ending 30 September 2007
• Sale by others ending 30 September 2008
• Use and storage by all must end by 30 June 2009

If any Approval Holder feels that their product (specifically a mixed active product) does not present an environmental risk, then the opportunity remains for them to submit a suitable risk assessment demonstrating safe and effective use.

Are you worried about what impact losing IPU will have on your herbicide strategy? Or, are there enough alternatives out there for its loss to go unnoticed? Either way, let us know in the FWi Forum.

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