The European Commission’s (EC) proposal for non-inclusion of asulam, used for bracken control in Scotland, in Annex I of the EC Plant Protection Products Directive (91/414/EEC) would mean that the product would be phased out and no longer legal for use after September 2012. The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health voted on 5th May 2011 and the EC’s proposal was blocked by a minority of Member States, including the UK.
However, the legal basis for pesticide authorisations changed on 14th June 2011 and therefore the Commissions lawyers advised that the vote on asulam in May was no longer valid. The Standing Committee therefore voted again on 15th July 2011 and again the proposal for non-inclusion was blocked by a minority of Member States. This resulting ‘no opinion’ will now be referred to the Appeal Committee which is a new procedure yet to be tried and tested. The Appeal Committee will meet in the second half of September and a decision will be made then.