Subscribe to free email updates and receive the latest pesticide news and tips. Use only approved products and always follow label instructions to ensure MRL requirements are met in the domestic market where the food is grown. If the products are intended for export, check the MRL requirements in the target markets. MRLs in the UK and EU can vary over time, which could affect the pesticides you can use for products destined for export. The new laws to ensure the safe use of pesticides (plant protection products) will be similar to existing laws. The government`s Brexit Freedom Act could lead to the removal of all legal protections against pesticides, wildlife campaigners have warned, endangering insects, wildlife and human health. The bill foresees 570 EU environmental laws being scrapped by the end of 2023, with little time to replace them and applicants will still have to comply with existing conditions, such as additional data requirements, under the UK`s new pesticide regime. Since Brexit, the EU has stepped up its proposals to protect wildlife from pesticides, including by reducing pesticide use by 50%. Buglife and dozens of other environmental NGOs resigned from the government`s pesticide forum in 2019, claiming that the area of land-based pesticides used on the forum had increased in the two decades since joining the forum.
The forum has not been replaced. Thanks in part to the massive increase in pesticide use in recent years, the UK environment is in crisis. Pesticides have contaminated much of our soil and water, destroying populations of birds, bees and other wildlife. This page has been removed because it is outdated. Up-to-date information can be found in the pesticide guidelines on the HSE website. Meanwhile, the British government seems to be turning its attention to deregulation. In addition, there is a major risk that trade agreements with non-EU countries will undermine UK pesticide standards after Brexit. Since leaving the EU, the UK government has pledged to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and promises to pay farmers public money for “public goods”. This would mean that farmers working hard to reduce their pesticide use and adopt truly sustainable techniques such as integrated pest management and organic farming would receive the subsidies and support they deserve.
If properly designed, it could also reduce the cost of quality food and allow anyone to access it, regardless of their financial situation. Before leaving the EU, much of the responsibility for regulating pesticides fell to Brussels. So far, the UK has largely maintained the EU`s approach to pesticide regulation that it helped create as an EU member state. Pesticide authorisations in the UK are available through the HSE Pesticide Register and the extension of minor use databases. These databases identify the scope of permission as GB+NI, GB only, or NI only. There is growing evidence linking pesticides to a number of serious health conditions such as cancer, Parkinson`s disease, asthma, as well as depression and anxiety. In the UK, we are constantly exposed to pesticides through our diet, as well as through spraying on farms in rural areas and by local councils and other land managers in urban areas. Green NGOs have already expressed concern about the lack of government action to reduce the environmental damage caused by pesticides, having so far failed to introduce a new national action plan for the sustainable use of pesticides promised in 2018. From 1 January 2021, an independent pesticide regulatory regime will apply in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland and Wales). The UK regulatory system is woefully inadequate in terms of protecting human health from pesticides. Pesticide poisoning is rarely investigated and there is no systematic monitoring of the health effects of long-term pesticide exposure. Safety limits for residues in food are set for only one pesticide at a time, ignoring evidence that combined chemicals can become more harmful.
The UK Department of Health and Human Services continues to ignore the harm caused by pesticides and deny that pesticides are a health problem. This means that treated products from Northern Ireland produced under EU MRLs for pesticides can be placed on the market in the UK, even if the MRLs for pesticides differ in the EU and in the UK if it is a qualified product from Northern Ireland. Goods that have only been processed with authorisation from the United Kingdom (United Kingdom) may only be marketed in Northern Ireland (NI) if the relevant EU MRL applies. Pesticides are explicitly excluded, but mutual recognition applies to rules on maximum residue limits (MRLs) in the same way as to rules on goods in general. “Any decision to maintain, repeal or amend EU law will not come at the expense of these high standards, and we are working towards the publication of an updated UK National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides.” The UK government is the main player in deciding how pesticides are regulated. Although many other actors are involved, it is the Westminster Government that sets the rules under which pesticides can be used and how. They are also the main decision-makers regarding pesticides in food, setting limits on the amount of pesticides that can be found in food and carrying out the UK`s residue analysis programme. Although pesticides are a “devolved competence” – meaning that in theory each of the devolved nations can choose its own path – the nations of the UK have chosen to make joint decisions, at least for now. We urgently need the UK Government to take the health effects of pesticides seriously and take the necessary action to protect children, workers and the public from pesticide-related harm.
As the gap between EU and UK pesticide regulations widens, there is a real risk that the UK will be left behind. The government has promised a “green Brexit” and has promised to be the first to leave the environment in better shape than it inherited. But without strict pesticide laws and significant government support for non-chemical alternatives, nature will not recover. Thus, when we leave the EU, we risk losing not only the laws themselves, but also the institutions that enforce them (this is called the “governance gap”). The UK must ensure that the functions of these bodies are replaced if our pesticide regime is to function properly. As of 1 January 2021, active substance approvals, maximum residue limits and assessment criteria were identical in the EU and the UK. When changes occur in both regimes, divergence is introduced. This divergence may lead to necessary differences in the permitted uses of pesticides in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, as well as in the applicable MRLs, and may affect trade in treated pesticides or articles. It is important that the UK Government, MPs and other decision-makers hear you to counter the pressure they are under from pesticide manufacturers and the agricultural lobby. We`ll let you know when you need to contact decision-makers to get the most impact. Keep an eye on our campaigns by subscribing to our mailing list or following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Make sure you comply if you use, manufacture or market pesticides after January 1, 2021.
Once an active substance has been approved, it is up to each Member State to decide whether or not to authorise certain pesticide preparations (also known as pesticide products). The UK has always managed this process and this will not change with Brexit.