So what's the problem?
Methyl bromide is a highly toxic pesticide. It is injected into soil, sterilising it prior to planting crops such as tomato, pepper, strawberry and ornamental plants. It is also used post-harvest to control pests in grains, spices, dried fruits and nuts and to decontaminate storage areas and food processing facilities. However, whilst it is effective at controlling a wide range of pests including weeds, insects, fungi and rodents, a growing body of evidence has indicated that methyl bromide can cause damage both to human health and the environment.
What is this project doing?
CABI was brought in to act as an independent assessor of the critical use exemption applications and considered each member state’s application. The purpose was to decide whether there were viable alternative control methods available that could replace the methyl bromide still used within individual member states.
To be an effective substitute, alternatives need to be economically viable, already proven to work and used commercially in other member states and registered for the appropriate use in the member state in question.
Results so far
Since the start of CABI’s involvement in this work, the amount of critical use of methyl bromide in the European Union has decreased from a level of 5.7 million kg in 2005 to no applications for critical use for 2009. Use of methyl bromide has therefore been successfully phased out by all EU member states in accordance with the Montreal Protocol.
In recognition of this achievement CABI was presented with a “Montreal Protocol Partners Award” in 2007 for the work is carried out to support the EU phase out of methyl bromide.
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