Crop producers are trapped in the crossfire between regulators and consumers' demands
The loss of IPU - our main control for annual meadowgrass - the potential loss of chlorothalonil and the fact that we will no longer have Retigo Deter seed dressing for BYDV prevention, highlight the continuing pressures on arable crop production and on research for new pesticides.
No one wants to risk human, animal or environmental health but placing the entire onus on agrochemical companies for scientific proofs and additional proofs with every new accusation is making Europe an unattractive place for manufacturers and farmers.
Each time a product is withdrawn we wait for a replacement from increasingly frustrated agrochemical companies.
New products come with fancy prices. Our customers, be it for potatoes, vegetables or cereals demand product to very high specifications, most of which cannot be produced without an intensive pesticide programme.
Better still if they cannot get produce to their specification they have no hesitation importing it from any part of the world.
Yesterday I picked up a packet of Linseed in an Irish supermarket with a 'Produced in Ireland' label with a tricolour flag - similar to a Bord Bia Logo. For a product to carry 'Produced in Ireland' packaging or indeed repackaging in Ireland is adequate.
There was no indication of what country it came from so no possible way of finding out the standards to which it was produced.
Irish farmers who grow potatoes and vegetables are required to keep a vast amount of records and manage production and packaging to a very high standard in order to put a Bord Bia Logo on their produce.