Daily News Archive

Pesticides Withdrawn as UK Moves into Line with EU Directive
(Beyond Pesticides, July 28, 2003)
Moving to comply with a European Union-wide directive on pesticide regulations announced in August 2002, the United Kingdom withdrew 81 pesticide products and 135 agricultural products from sale.

Most of the withdrawn products are herbicides that contain one of six active ingredients - 2,3,6-TBA, dichlorprop, dikegulac, resmethrin, tar acids and triforine. A BBC article reported that the products were withdrawn by their manufacturers rather than being put through the rigorous health and safety trials required to comply with the new, more strict EU regulations.

After July 25, 2003, the products may not be sold, and all households and farmers must use their remaining supplies by December 31, 2003. After December 31, the products may be stored properly for three months only if consumers and farm applicators are arranging for the products' disposal.

Labour Euro-MP David Bowe celebrated the ban as a victory for public and environmental safety. He emphasized the importance of gaining information about the many chemicals in everyday use that we know little about. Bowe acknowledged that there are many commonly used pesticides "containing a whole range of products about which we currently have very little information."

This is not the first time the European Union has seriously reviewed their pesticide practices. In March 2003, a Beyond Pesticides daily news article reported the gradual use phase out of the deadly insecticide aldicarb.

This recent, bold step toward safer chemical usage for the EU highlights the European community's willingness to seriously consider the dangers of pesticide usage and the importance of thoroughly understanding the effects these toxic chemicals have on people and the environment.