Row over risks of farm chemicals

UK - Scientists have criticised a report on crop spraying and its risks to health. Last year, a report by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) recommended five-metre no-spray zones between fields and homes.

But the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) says this measure is "arbitrary" and a "disproportionate" response to scientific uncertainty.

The ACP is an independent scientific committee and advises government on the control of pests.

Its formal response was requested by Lord Bach, minister for sustainable farming and food, and will be used to inform the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' response to the RCEP's report.

While agreeing with some of the recommendations made in the report, Professor David Coggon, chair of the ACP when the response was written, said the committee strongly disagreed with the recommendation of placing a five metre buffer zone alongside residential property to protect against possible adverse health effects.

"We agree that there is scientific uncertainty, but we think a buffer zone is arbitrary and a disproportionate response to the uncertainty," he told the BBC News website.

Source: BBC
calendar icon 6 February 2006
clock icon 2 minute read
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