Sodium chlorate banned by EC

Popular weedkiller sodium chlorate has been banned by the European Commission (EC).

Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD) information services officer Ian Rowland said a vote by the EC pesticides review standing committee in July was for non-inclusion of chlorates in Annex 1 of their review.

This means sodium chlorate has to be withdrawn from sale and use. Dates have yet to be published but Rowland said there will be six months to withdraw sales and 12 months after that to withdraw use and storage, meaning the product will probably be outlawed for sale by July 2009 and use by July 2010.

The weedkiller is used as a non-selective herbicide and considered phytotoxic to all green plant parts. It can also kill through root absorption.The main brands of the weedkiller at garden centre level are Growing Success, Doff and Gem. The own-brand players - ASDA, Focus, Homebase, Great Mills, Tesco and Wilko usually have a back-to-back registration with these other main players.

Sodium chlorate's withdrawal is part of the loss of up to 85 per cent of pesticides as part of the EC review of their health dangers.

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