14 August 1997
Industry to take action on pesticides
INDUSTRY has released a plan to reduce the impact of pesticides on the environment and human health – with new protocols for farmers using pesticides expected by the end of the year.
But farmers will be relieved to know that the plan does not call for a reduction in pesticide usage by a certain time.
On the contrary, it acknowledges that pesticide usage will continue for the foreseeable future, but at the same time any “undesirable side effects” must be eliminated as soon as possible.
The action plan, developed by the Pesticides Forum, aims to promote the responsible use of pesticides in agriculture and encourage collaboration between farmers, growers, advisers, retailers, the agrochemical industry, consumers and environmentalists. The Pesticide Forum is an independent advisory group consisting of agricultural, environmental and industry leaders.
The protocols will be tabled by the end of the year. The forum will then devise accreditation schemes by spring 1988 which will see these protocols put in place.
The meeting will discuss a revised paper by the British Agrochemical Association on the pros and cons of GM crops. One of the positives of GM crops is that they require fewer pesticides. However, a number of EU countries recently tried to impose their own bans on GM maize and soyabean in response to health concerns.