28 February 2015 | Online since 2003



Defra outlines future of pesticides with draft plan


The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs have issued a draft plan outlining the future of pesticide use in the UK.

The action plan for 'sustainable use of pesticides' is designed to make the UK adhere to EU rules on the subject and has been met with approval by farming unions including the NFU.

Defra’s UK National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (NAP) draft opened for consultation this week, and through its evidence-based approach recognises the high standards of professional pesticide stewardship achieved by the farmers and growers.

The plan focuses on the continuing use of voluntary approaches to meet pesticide targets.

Initiatives such as those promoted through the Voluntary Initiative are highlighted as ways to improve best practice without the need to regulate.

“The NAP consultation document appears to take a scientific risk reduction approach to pesticide usage, and bases its recommendations accordingly. We feel that this is a positive move, as a holistic, science-led approach to the management of pesticides is the right course of action" said NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond.

“In addition, the recognition of the high standards of pesticide stewardship by the farming sector is welcome and justified, as the agricultural industry already operates to world leading levels of stewardship.

“We will be submitting a response to the consultation that outlines where we feel that the NAP draft can be improved, but overall we feel that the current draft is sensible and well thought out.”

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