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Directive 91/414/EEC Concerning The Marketing And Use Of Plant Protection Products

This part of European Union regulation has established a Pesticides Review Standing Committee which has the task of deciding which herbicides, insecticides and fungicides can be used and any restrictions to that use. Their review is ongoing and in July 2008 a further major review has listed many more pesticides which are to be withdrawn, but there have been quite a few protests from professional growers about the chemicals that will be lost - especially bulb producers.
On 5th November 2008 the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety voted for amendments to the Plant Protection Products regulation which is to replace Directive 91/414/EEC. These amendments are to change the use and remove more products which are used in horticulture, eg. if two chemicals do the same job, but one is more damaging it will have to be phased out in the next 5 years.

Some of the chemicals involved may have been used for many years, but they have not gone through the current rigorous tests which are used to check if they cause damage to animals or the environment. Due to the high cost of the tests, which must be borne by manufacturers, and doubts about safety anyway, the list has quite a large number of long used products. For some chemicals which have a low value, it is not economically viable to obtain approval so they will no longer be available, eg. Ammonium Sulphamate.

Amateur Products containing the unapproved chemicals - July 2003
The table below shows the list of products withdrawn on 25th July 2003, with a use-up period to 31st December 2003. They contain active ingredients that no longer have approval for use by amateur gardeners in plant protection. The trade names on the list may continue to be used with a different formulation of ingredients which have approval, eg. Verdone Plus became Verdone Extra (fluroxypyr, clopyralid and MCPA)
Further details and up-to-date information can be found at the Pesticide Safety Directive web-site.
Six of the chemicals involved in this list are:-
1 Dichlorprop - a selective weedkiller.
2 Dikegulac - a growth inhibitor.
3 Resmethrin - a type I pyrethroid insecticide.
4 2,3-6-TBA - a selective weedkiller.
5 Tar Acids - found in insecticide washes and disinfectants (only plant protection purposes withdrawn).
6 Triforine - a fungicide

Reg No Product Name IngredientApproval Holder
M10871 ASDA Lawn Feed Weed and Mosskiller1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M10872 ASDA Lawn Feed and Weed1 Doff Portland Ltd
M10874 ASDA Lawn Spot Weeder1 Doff Portland Ltd
M08137 AgrEvo Lawn Weed Killer 1S A G
M08912 AgrEvo Lawn Weedkiller Concentrate1 S A G
M06234 Armillatox (Plant Protection Uses Only Withdrawn)5 Armillatox Ltd
M07850 B & Q Granular Weed and Feed for Lawns1 The Scotts Company (UK) Limited
M05487 B & Q Lawn Feed and Weed 1Doff Portland Ltd
M05486 B & Q Lawn Spot Weeder 1Doff Portland Ltd
M05324 B & Q Lawn Weedkiller1 Doff Portland Ltd
M05293 B & Q Liquid Weed and Feed 1Miracle Garden Care Ltd
M06897 B & Q Nettle Gun 1Doff Portland Ltd
M10858 B&Q Spring Lawn Care Granular Feed Weed1 William Sinclair Horticulture Limited
M10859 B&Q Spring Lawn Care Granular Feed Weed Mosskiller1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M03455 Boots Nettle and Bramble Weedkiller 1The Boots Company Plc
M07783 Cutlass 2Miracle Garden Care Ltd
M09543 Cutlass 2The Scotts Company (UK) Limited
M09311 Do It All Lawn Feed & Weed1 Doff Portland Ltd
M08106 Do-It-All Lawn Weedkiller 1Doff Portland Ltd
M08197 Do It All Wipeout! Lawn Weed Killer1 Doff Portland Ltd
M05117 Doff Lawn Feed and Weed 1Doff Portland Ltd
M03995 Doff Lawn Spot Weeder 1Doff Portland Ltd
M05708 Doff Lawn Weed and Feed Soluble1 Powder Doff Portland Ltd
M07158 Doff Nettle Gun 1Doff Portland Ltd
M05666 Doff New Formula Lawn Weedkiller1 Doff Portland Ltd
M09639 Evergreen Grasshopper 1The Scotts Company (UK) Limited
M05868 Fisons Ready-to-Use Lawn Weedkiller1 Fisons Plc
M05807 Fisons Water-on Lawn Weedkiller1 Fisons Plc
M10926 Focus Lawn Feed and Weed 1Doff Portland Ltd
M07468 Focus Lawn Spot Weeder 1Doff Portland Ltd
M06096 Focus Lawn Weedkiller 1Doff Portland Ltd
M06896 Focus Nettle Gun 1Doff Portland Ltd
M08643 Grasshopper Triple Action 1Miracle Garden Care Ltd
M09785 Grasshopper Weed & Feed 1The Scotts Company (UK) Limited
M08367 Great Mills Lawn Feed & Weed 1Doff Portland Ltd
M05014 Great Mills Lawn Spot Weeder 1Doff Portland Ltd
M09296 Great Mills Lawn Weedkiller 1Doff Portland Ltd
M09324 Greensward Triple Action 1The Scotts Company (UK) Limited
M05953 Groundclear 1pbi Home & Garden Ltd
M07539 Homebase Lawn Weedkiller Liquid 1Doff Portland Ltd
M07536 Homebase Lawn Weedkiller Ready To Use Sprayer1 Doff Portland Ltd
M07989 Homebase Liquid Lawn Feed and Weed 1Doff Portland Ltd
M07538 Homebase Nettle Gun 1Doff Portland Ltd
M06432 House Plant Pest Killer 3Vitax Ltd
M07164 J Arthur Bower's Granular Feed and Weed1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M07042 J Arthur Bower's Granular Feed, Weed and Mosskiller1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M09458 J Arthur Bower's Lawn Feed and Weed1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M09459 J Arthur Bower's Lawn Feed, Weed and Mosskiller 1William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M09460 J Arthur Bower's Lawn Weed and Mosskiller. 1William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M09461 J Arthur Bower's Lawn Weedkiller 1William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M04606 Jeyes Fluid (Plant Protection Uses Only Withdrawn)5 Jeyes Ltd
M09736 Lawn Weedkiller1 S A G
M09740 Lawn Weedkiller Concentrate 1S A G
M07497 Levington Ready to Use Lawn Weedkiller1 Levington Horticulture Ltd
M07495 Levington Water-on Lawn Weedkiller 1Levington Horticulture Ltd
M05271 Murphy Clover-Kil 1Fisons Plc
M09209 New Supertox 1pbi Home & Garden Ltd
M07876 Nimrod T 6Miracle Garden Care Ltd
M09502 Nimrod T 6The Scotts Company (UK) Limited
M08736 Roseclear 2 6Miracle Garden Care Ltd
M09498 Roseclear 26 The Scotts Company (UK) Limited
M02864 Touchweeder 4Thomas Elliott Ltd
M08325 Tumbleweed Clover1 Levington Horticulture Ltd
M08546 Tumbleweed Clover Ready to Use 1Levington Horticulture Ltd
M08088 Tumbleweed Lawns 1Levington Horticulture Ltd
M08089 Tumbleweed Lawns Ready to Use1 Levington Horticulture Ltd
M08689 Verdone Plus 1Miracle Garden Care Ltd
M09732 Wilko Granular Feed and Weed for Lawns1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M07471 Wilko Granular Feed, Weed and Mosskiller 1William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M09731 Wilko Granular Feed, Weed and Mosskiller for Lawns 1William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M08816 Wilko Lawn Feed and Weed 1William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M04602 Wilko Lawn Feed, Weed and Mosskiller1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M05130 Wilko Lawn Spot Weeder 1Doff Portland Ltd
M07473 Wilko Lawn Weed and Feed1 Doff Portland Ltd
M03749 Wilko Lawn Weedkiller Doff 1Portland Ltd
M06898 Wilko Nettle Gun Doff 1Portland Ltd
M04391 Wilko Soluble Lawn Food and Weedkiller1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd
M07105 Woolworths Lawn Spot Weeder 1Doff Portland Ltd
M07474 Woolworths Lawn Weed and Feed1 Doff Portland Ltd
M07064Woolworths Lawn Weedkiller1 Doff Portland Ltd
M07060Woolworths Liquid Lawn Feed and Weed1 Miracle Garden Care Ltd

October 2003 - As an addition to this list the EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health has refused the re-registering of the residual herbicides Atrazine and Simazine , due to the risk of leaching to ground water. Exposure to excessive amounts of Atrazine may cause heart, lung and kidney problems as well as cancer according to studies by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Products containing these herbicides may continue to be available for 'essential uses'. National governments can submit bids for derogations in certain instances.
The UK bids for Atrazine and Simazine are for the production of sweetcorn, beans, forestry, rhubarb, asparagus and hardy ornamental nursery stock. Use in any other crop or situation is banned.
In the Republic of Ireland they can continue to be used until 30th June 2007 under an 'essential use' category, but in any other crop or situation, their use is now illegal. The 'essential uses' are:-
Atrazine, for forestry and maize.
Simazine - for use on potatoes, field beans, rhubarb, asparagus, soft fruit, tree fruit and ornamental/amenity.

At around the same time EU Directive 76/769/EEC ammended by Directive 94/60/EC banned the use of Creosote. Wood treated with creosote and other coal tar distillates, may NOT be used as follows:

  • inside buildings, whatever their purpose
  • in toys
  • in playgrounds
  • in parks, gardens, and outdoor recreational leisure facilities where there is a risk of frequent skin contact
  • in the manufacture of garden furniture such as picnic tables,
  • for the manufacture and use and any re-treatment of:
    - containers intended for growing purposes
    - packaging that may come into contact with raw materials, intermediate or finished products destined for human and/or animal consumption
    - other materials which may contaminate the products mentioned above.

This means that the use of such treated railway sleepers is severely restricted and should no longer be used in the garden unless out of reach - but which part of a garden is out of the reach of playing children? There are alternatives like hardwoods (eg. oak), pressure treated, and salt treated woods.
A derogation of the Directive allows Coal tar distillates to be used below certain concentrations by professionals in industry such as:
  • on railways
  • in electric power transmission and telecommunications
  • for fencing
  • for agricultural purposes (eg. stakes for tree support)
  • in harbours and waterways
Coal tar distillates contain Benzo-a-pyrene (BaP) and water extractable phenols which are carcinogenic. The concentration of these permitted in the materials used in industry are:
BaP at a concentration of less than 0.005% by mass and water extractable phenols at a concentration of less than 3% by mass. They may only be sold in quantities greater than 20 litres to those permitted to use them, but not to ordinary consumers.
The penalties for not adhering to these rules are a fine of up to 5,000 in a Magistrates Court or an unlimited fine if convicted in a Crown Court. This link is a government release of frequently asked questions on creosote

In the UK the Health and Safety Executive give up to date information on biologically active products on their website

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