Rhizo testing levy fears

3 December 1999

Rhizo testing levy fears

FEARS are growing that MAFF may use the registration of sugar beet growers as a way of recouping £200,000 towards the cost of rhizomania testing.

MAFF proposals to levy growers have been received and rejected by the NFU, but that does not mean they are off the agenda, warns sugar beet adviser Helen Kirkman.

Growers already finance the compensation scheme through the rhizomania levy and the new stewardship scheme should help cut the cost of containment for MAFF, she maintains. Further charges on growers would be unfair.

However, growers must complete and return the registration form received last month to MAFF to meet EU rules governing the UKs rhizomania free status, she adds.

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