APRIL 27, 2008: There has been a reduction in the amount of environmental damage caused by pesticides, according to a report – but it warns of tough times ahead. 

Two reports from the Pesticide Forum confirm that farmers and growers are delivering reduced impact on the environment from the use of pesticides.Chairman of the Forum, James Clarke praised the results but said that it was essential to continue ‘best practice’ use of pesticides during a challenging time for agriculture.“It is important that the Pesticides Forum plays its part in making sure that the vision of a ‘brave new world’, being presented by Brussels and the UK Government on the sustainable use of pesticides, helps to meet the increasing demand for food and fuel by protecting plants, while ensuring protection of the environment and people,” he said.The Forum welcomed the EU Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides and the UK Pesticides strategy.Mr Clarke said such initiatives were important in the face of an increased cropping area (after an end to set-aside), pressures to grow more food for a rapidly growing population and the increased impact of environmental schemes.“During this period of change it is important that we continue to monitor the impacts of pesticide use carefully and assess future developments,” said Mr Clarke.The Pesticides Forum was set up by ministers in 1996 to supervise the impact of chemicals on the environment as well as advising farmers and growers about new technology and best practice methods to reduce their impact.

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