Dr Colin Ruscoe, chief executive of the British Crop Production Council (BCPC), used one of the first fringe events at the Oxford Farming Conference today to call on the Government to take a risk-based approach to crop protection product regulation after the UK leaves the EU.
He opened the event, hosted by BASF, by telling the audience science has been ‘somewhat lacking’ over recent decades in the EU when it comes to agrochemicals and said Brexit provided a ‘unique opportunity’ for the UK to do things differently and tackle the issue of declining self-sufficiency.
He added: “The migration of agrochemical business to the Far East and especially the Americas is down to the way things have been done in the EU.
“Electricity and even oxygen are hazardous, but it is the dose which makes the poison. The amount of exposure and risk is important to look at when it comes to regulation.”
Mr Ruscoe also called for any post-Brexit regulations to be flexible enough to cope with new technologies; for more and better use of existing mutual recognition rules which allow products declared safe by one country to be used by another; for simplified procedures for minor uses and products which are clearly low risk and a beefed up Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD).