0 Amenity Forum calls for scientific evidence to allay public concern

JohnMoverleyFollowing Dave Saltman's item in our May newsletter, John Moverley, Independent Chairman of the Amenity Forum, has written:

The Amenity Forum is the voluntary Initiative for the sector promoting best and safe practice in all aspects of weed, pest and disease control. It currently has some 55 organisations in its membership representing all aspects including manufacturers, distributors, contractors, local authority, green keepers, grounds staff and more. All those involved are committed to the Forum's objectives, operating at Amenity Assured standards and meeting legal requirements ensuring safe and best practice.

Decisions need to be made after considering the science and all evidence available

It is in this context that recent media coverage regarding the use of pesticides such as glyphosate is disappointing to say the least. In this world of 24 hour news, items can get distorted and publicised perhaps without sufficient research. This creates public concern understandably. Glyphosate is used widely as an active ingredient in products to control weeds on areas such as streets and pavements, parks and transport infrastructure. It keeps them safe and clean and fit for purpose. It is a substance which has been rigorously tested, gone through extensive approval processes and meets the strictest specifications set by countries all over the world. Ongoing monitoring is equally thorough and again it meets all standards set. Yet a single piece of work suggesting a possible cacogenic link creates much publicity and understandably public concern.

It is absolutely essential that decisions are based upon the full facts and properly referenced scientific evidence. Without glyphosate as part of amenity maintenance programmes, we would have lower standard sports surfaces and potentially less safe and certainly more unsightly public areas. In an amateur context, it would also make keeping pathways and driveways clean and safe much more difficult.

The Amenity Forum promotes an integrated approach to weed, pest and disease control making the most appropriate and effective use of all approaches available, pesticide and non-pesticide. Its members adhere to standards set out in guidance notes which can be found on its website, www.amenityforum.co.uk

Industry is better working together with one voice, to be proud of what it achieved and to get its message across

The Forum has recently urged its members to stand up and be proud of the essential work they undertake and has asked everyone in the sector to join and get behind our aims and objectives. It is in continuing dialogue with policy makers and all key stakeholders and will always stand for very best practice and standards and ensuring decisions are always based upon the very best information and requirements.
It is very important that we get our message across especially at ths time and in doing that we are better together, appropriately enough the topic for our annual conference on October 15th at Leicester, a must attend event for all involved in amenity weed, pest and disease control.

Full information is available on the website, www.amenityforum.co.uk

The Forum will continue to strongly represent the sector in all aspects of weed, pest and disease control and seek to ensure decisions are based on well considered scientific and other evidence not on instant reaction to pressure groups and the like. It is vital for it to retain all the tools available in maintaining the current high standards of control safely and effectively.

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