Copper hydroxide not authorised for use on organic produce

Copper Update: Authorisation of copper hydroxide for organic production

Following the Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP) meeting of 21st April, they chose not to recommend authorisation of the copper hydroxide product, Funguran Progress.

This is in line with the recommendations from the CRD risk assessment due to environmental concerns, in particular aquatic toxicity. It follows the pattern from previous years, as ‘Cuprokylt’ was not considered to be acceptable, from an environmental perspective.

The decision on whether or not to grant a 120 day authorisation was then passed to Defra and Ministers to determine if the need by the organic sector outweighs the potential environmental concerns.

The Minister recently decided not to approve the use of the copper product on top fruit, and we are still awaiting a decision about it's use on organic potatoes. This will come as a big blow to many organic farmers, who only use low levels of copper, and rely on it as a last resort for the protection of their crops.

There may still be an opportunity to influence a decision for the use on potatoes. The Minister that's making the decision about whether copper hydroxide can be used on potatoes this year, as part of an emergency authorisation, is Victoria Prentis.

If your business will be adversely affected if authorisation is not given, you may like to contact her with details of the likely impact. Victoria Prentis can be contacted via her website.