Active substances for crop protection have fallen from 1,000 to 230 because of the EU directive aimed at harmonising pesticide approvals across the continent (91/414). Those actives that remain are being further reduced under EU Directive 1107/2009.
The report says ornamental horticulture is a special case because few new products are securing off-label approvals and risk is higher because ornamentals cover 5,000 genera, with crop husbandry more intensive than with agriculture crops. It calls for a balance between business and regulation, particularly in light of the move from a risk-based to a hazard-based approvals system.
The strategy recommends increased funding to drive through future approvals. It also calls for research funding to carry out specific work in separately calculating the acceptable operator exposure level (AOEL) for ornamental container and field-grown crops.
The document adds that the criteria for worker re-entry exposure assessment of pesticides for ornamental crop approvals in the UK is gauged on the hand picking of bulb flower crops into uncovered arms and strategy authors believe it should not be applied to ornamental and amenity production processes.
It also calls for more work to quantify the dislodgeable foliar residue levels on container and field-grown crops to ensure that better data is used to calculate substance approvals. The strategy cites the Anderson report, which outlines the balance between the industry's productivity and the loss of plant-protection products.