The decision has been made thatAsulam products will be available for bracken control in 2013.
The followers of the asulam for bracken control story will be aware that we have been waiting for a decision about the application for an Emergency Authorisation. The Bracken Control Group met in York today, and it was during this meeting that the news of the approval was given. This is the headline decision and there will be restrictions and other details that will need to be considered by those wanting to carry out bracken control this year.
Have a look at the Bracken Control website if you want more detail and sign up if you want to receive the newsletter that will keep you up to date with developments (there is a sign up option at the bottom of each newsletter which can be found on the News Page.
The story started in September 2011, with the decision by an EU committee not to renew the approval for the use of asulam for all purposes throughout the EU. Asulam is an international product that has many uses and one of these is to control broadleaved weeds in food crops. In reviewing asulam, the European Food Standards Agency decided that there was insufficient data to prove that asulam was safe. In the UK, bracken control is the most important use for asulam but as an example of the law of unintended consequences, this use was caught in the blanket restrictions.
To cut this long story slightly short, I was asked to coordinate a Bracken Control Group and submit an application for an Emergency Authorisation that would apply across the UK, but only for bracken control. The application was submitted in November, it was considered by a UK committee at the end of January and it has now been approved in Defra. This is great news and a sign that the tide against bracken control is turning. We can now implement plans for the 2013 season.