Pesticide groups hit out at Government

Government’s lack of action over bad practice branded ‘a disgrace’

National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) chief executive Jill Hewitt has called the lack of action by the Government on poor practice by amenity weed control contractors “a disgrace”. The NAAC told the Pesticides Forum last week that little has changed since its best-value report was published last year. It said tender documents were pushing contractors to cut corners and break the law. Hewitt told the forum: “This is helping to compromise best practice and driving down standards in the amenity sector. Inevitably, this may put the operator, the public and the environment at unnecessary risk.” She added: “This is a disgrace. Urgent action is need by the Government and industry to ensure that amenity weed control is carried out safely and effectively.” L The NAAC and Crop Protection Association (CPA) have welcomed the Pesticides Safety Directorate’s (PSD’s) visits to councils to ensure only approved products and appropriate codes of practice are used. CPA Voluntary Initiative (VI) manager Patrick Goldsworthy said the pesticide regulators have confiscated products from councils and other advisory visits may be made. Earlier this year, CPA issued a briefing, based on PSD advice, on the illegal sale and use of pre-mixed pesticides. See www.naac.co.uk/ bestvaluereport.pdf. L VI has launched a campaign, “Burst one bubble and we’re all in trouble”, to encourage users to prevent pesticides from reaching water. See www.voluntaryinitiative.org.uk.

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