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European Commission bans asulam

An appeal for the continued use of the herbicide asulam, the only marketed herbicide that can control the spread of bracken, was thrown out by an appeals committee in Brussels today. Sale and supply of asulam will end on the 31st December 2011 and stocks of the herbicide must be consumed by the 31st December 2012. Without the ability to control bracken, many farmers will be unable to use their land effectively. Richard Ashworth MEP, the Conservative agriculture spokesman in the European Parliament, said in response to the news: “Banning the use of asulam on bracken makes no sense whatsoever. “Simply banning the product in all areas of use, simply because the European Commission decreed it wasn’t to be used on foodstuffs such as spinach, shows a complete lack of foresight and I will now be supporting emergency contingencies for it’s continued use. “There are no practical alternatives to asulam for controlling bracken so we could well see large portions of our countryside rendered useless at great cost to our farmers.”