Plant protection products (pesticides) have many benefits, including helping ensure we have access to sufficient quantities of good quality reasonably priced foodstuffs, clean urban environments, maintaining transport infrastructures,and controlling invasive species. The Government believes that we can best minimise the risk of adverse impacts through a range of statutory and voluntary controls. It is important however that the range of controls complement each other and have clearly defined outcomes. The Government has therefore published the UK Pesticides Strategy which does this. The Strategy foreshadows the requirements of the EU Thematic Strategy for Pesticides.
- UK Pesticides Strategy. The Strategy provides a framework for plant protection product legislation, policies and initiatives contribute to goals promoting sustainable development. It will do this by helping to protect the countryside and natural resources, supporting sustainable food and farming and sustainable consumption and production. It will help minimise the adverse impacts of using plant protection products.
- EU Thematic Strategy. The EU's Sixth Environmental Action Programme committed the community to developing a Thematic Strategy for Pesticides. The Strategy seeks to ensure more sustainable use of pesticides through use of existing and new legislation.
UK national action plan for the sustainable use of pesticides (plant protection products)
Consultation start: 30 July 2012
Consultation end: 22 October 2012
This consultation invites views on the draft UK National Action Plan (NAP) for pesticides. This is the next stage in the implementation of the EU Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides which was transposed into UK law on 18 July by the Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012.
The National Action Plan (NAP) is designed to ensure that plant protection products can be used sustainably in the UK and is to be developed in consultation with stakeholders including members of the public.
How to respond
To submit your views on the NAP and for further information, please go to the Defra consultation web page here: http://www.defra.gov.uk/consult/2012/07/30/uknap-pesticides/
The UK Pesticides Strategy cannot deliver its desired outcomes working in isolation. It relies on the support, and will support other government and industry initiatives. Some of the key initiatives are listed below.
Information and Advice
- We provide advice to those who supply and use pesticides. This includes a:
- Code of Practice (pdf, 169 pages).
- Campaign Against Illegal Poisoning advises those involved in pest control to avoid practices which may increase the risks of poisoning of pets or wildlife.
- Organic farmers need to take care to follow pesticide legislation, as well as organic rules when choosing substances to protect crops from pest or diseases.
- Integrated Farm Management (IFM) IFM involves combining traditional and modern farming practices with measures which protect the environment. These measures include careful targeting of pesticide applications.
- Pesticides Usage. The Government's Pesticides Usage Survey Programme monitors the amount of pesticides used each year. The survey monitors usage on arable, vegetable and fruit crops, grassland and fodder, hops and stored produce.
- Pesticide Practices. A report on UK Pesticide Practices (pdf, 124 pages, 1,570kb) was recently completed by ADAS. This document looks to understand practices with regard to pesticide application, machinery testing and maintenance, use of integrated pest management and pesticide waste disposal practices.
- Pesticide Poisoning Incidents. The Pesticides Incidents Appraisal Panel (PIAP) scheme monitors complaints of ill health in people associated with pesticides. PIAP reports are published annually.
- Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS). This Scheme helps identify cases where the misuse or abuse of pesticides puts wildlife at risk of poisoning. WIIS reports are published quarterly and annually.
- Residues in Foodstuffs. A range of foodstuffs are monitored to check that there is no unauthorised use of pesticides and that residues levels do not exceed legal levels.
- Residues in Drinking Water. Pesticide residues in drinking water are monitored by Water Supply Companies who report findings to the Drinking Water Inspectorate. The law essentially requires supplies to be free of residues.
- Residues in rivers, lakes and groundwater. Pesticide residues are monitored by the Environment Agency. Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland (DoENI) carry out similar work in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Maximum residue levels (known as Environmental Quality Standards) have been set for a number of pesticides.
- Our Research and Development programme includes work on finding alternative crop protection methods and on transferring knowledge to farmers and growers.
- In terms of water monitoring, we liaise with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland, by working closely with them in evolving environmental policy to enhance water quality.