Trade in illegal pesticides, involving organised criminal gangs, is increasing around the world. These illegal pesticides are untested and uncontrolled and therefore may contain inferior or even dangerous and banned substances. Their use could endanger the health of sprayer operators, deprive farmers of their Single Farm Payment and farm assured status, result in crop failure or rejection, create environmental risks to wildlife soil and water and even lead to prosecution.
Farmers, operators and agronomists are being urged to help guard against these illegal pesticides and are advised to:
- Buy only known and reputable pesticides from known and reputable suppliers.
- Check that packaging is professional, tamper proof and securely sealed and it has a full label written in English.
- Check the product on the invoice and delivery note matches the product ordered and delivered.
- Check that the product looks as expected.
- Report suspicious products and suppliers to the Defra helpline - 08459 33 55 77 (calls charged at a local rate).
For more information on the Watch Out! campaign, visit: http://www.voluntaryinitiative.org.uk/watchout