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20/12/18 Withdrawal of Metaldehyde

Following today’s news from the Environment Secretary that the applications for the continued authorisation for professional and amateur slug pellets products containing metaldehyde have been refused, ADAMA issues the following statement.

The decision to prohibit the use of metaldehyde, except in permanent greenhouses, follows advice from the UK Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which have concluded that metaldehyde poses an unacceptable risk to birds and small mammals.

The outdoor use of metaldehyde will be phased out over 18 months to give growers time to adjust to other methods of slug control. It remains permitted to sell and distribute metaldehyde products for outdoor use for the next six months, with the disposal, storage and use of existing stocks permissible for a further 12 months. The withdrawal currently applies to Great Britain, but not Northern Ireland.

“This news comes as a great disappointment, not only to ADAMA as a manufacturer of metaldehyde slug pellets, but to the wider farming community, especially those growers who rely on effective molluscicides to prevent slugs from inflicting serious damage on their crop, thereby affecting both yield and quality,” states Alison Bosher, Marketing and Technical Director for ADAMA (UK).

“As a member of the Metaldehyde Stewardship Group, ADAMA has campaigned for the safe and responsible use of all metaldehyde based products. We also developed our own WaterAware app to promote the responsible use of such chemicals and to safeguard the long-term future availability of this key active ingredient. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, the revocation of the authorisation to use metaldehyde leaves UK growers without one of the most effective forms of defence against slugs.

“On a more positive note, ADAMA is already well on its way to developing new molluscicides using alternative modes of action and will be bringing these products to market over the next couple of years.”