The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) applied for authorisations to use two neonicotinoids to protect oilseed rape crops planted in England this year. This use of neonicotinoids is not routinely permitted but the legislation allows for “emergency” authorisation of the limited and controlled use of a pesticide to control a danger which cannot be contained by any other reasonable means.
Decisions on whether or not to grant authorisation are made on the basis of an examination of the technical and scientific information submitted by the applicant. This assessment is made by the independent UK Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP) and the Health and Safety Executive.
The ECP has submitted its advice on the NFU applications to the Government. It finds that neither of the applications meets the requirements for emergency authorisation. The ECP’s full advice note has been published on the GOV.UK website.
Based on the evidence and the expert advice, Defra has rejected the applications.