Health and Safety Executive (UK)

UK farmers taking more care over use of pesticides, says new study


Source: Health and Safety Executive (UK)

Two reports from the UK's Pesticides Forum confirm that farmers and growers are delivering reduced impacts on the environment from the use of pesticides. Commenting on the publication of the Pesticide Forum’s 2007 Annual Report and the 2007 ‘Report of indicators reflecting the impacts of pesticides use’ James Clarke, the Chairman of the Forum said: 'It is important that the Pesticides Forum plays its part in making sure that the vision of a 'brave new world’, being presented by Brussels and the UK Government on the sustainable use of pesticides, helps to meet the increasing demand for food and fuel by protecting plants, while ensuring protection of the environment and people. We have an increasingly important role in bringing together the wide range of interested people and organisations to facilitate understanding, promote best practice and monitor the impacts.

'The ending of set-aside, which is likely to lead to an increase in the cropped area, and the impact of environmental schemes may change patterns of pesticide use and their impacts. The Forum welcomes developments such as the proposed EU Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides and the UK Pesticides Strategy. Integral to these is the work of the Voluntary Initiative and Amenity Forum. The combined efforts of all these will help reduce risk by providing a framework for controls on use and more fully embedding best practice measures across all sectors.

'During this period of change it is important that we continue to monitor the impacts of pesticide use carefully and assess future developments. As well as publishing these on the web, we have included a forward look within the Indicators Report and reorganised it to match the structure of the UK Pesticides Strategy, enabling us to monitor progress and report in an easily accessible fashion.”

The Pesticides Forum was set up by Ministers in 1996 to:

- bring together the views of those concerned with the use and effects of pesticides; identify their common interests;
- assist in the effective dissemination of best practice, advances in technology, and research and development results; and
- advise Government on the development, promotion and implementation of its policy relating to the responsible use of pesticides.

This is the 11th Annual Report published by the Forum, and its fourth report on indicators.

The Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD) transferred from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to the Health and Safety Executive on 1 April 2008.


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