The Voluntary Initiative (VI) has warned local authorities that they must be more vigilant in obeying pesticide guidelines, following an independent review.
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) found last week that not enough studies have been done into the link between health and pesticides.
The independent body discovered no evidence of human health problems directly caused by pesticide spray but recommended spray buffer zones of five metres in fields near homes and workplaces, along with several other measures.
RCEP chairman Sir Tom Blundell said: “Government policy on exposure of bystanders and local residents is currently inadequate.”
Crop Protection Association VI manager Patrick Goldsworthy said: “We’re concerned that some local authorities, which use third-party contractors to spray, don’t always know what the legal situation is, let alone comply with it.
“The UK regulatory system is robust and is updated as science evolves. As a responsible industry, we will comply with any requirements the regulator introduces.”
The VI was set up in place of a proposed pesticide tax in 2001. The statutory code of practice is being revised for publication in early 2006.
In 2003, the Government rejected the need for buffer strips and for public access to farmers’ spray records.
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