FEBRUARY 5, 2010: European legislation covering the use of pesticide in farming is to come into force over the next couple of years. Defra, HSE and the Devolved Administrations will open the legislation up to consultation in the spring.

The consultation looks at how people living close to farms might gain access to farmers’ pesticide spraying records, how residents could be given prior notification of spraying activities, and other aspects of spraying. To find out more about the consultation, visit the website www.pesticides.gov.uk/ in the spring *  The NFU is taking the unprecedented step of opening its archives to help farmers who believe they were poisoned by organophosphate (OP) pesticides. OPs are considered one of the most acutely toxic pesticides. Their use in the past – especially in sheep dip – has been blamed for cases of poisoning, respiratory failure and even death among farmers. As many as 15,000 farmers who used OPs could have been affected, it is claimed.

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