"Cruiser SB" approved in England to protect sugar beet if specific conditions are met

Friday, January 14, 2022
Defra has today approved an emergency temporary authorisation for the use of a neonicotinoid pesticide treatment on the 2022 sugar beet crop in England only due to the risk to the crop from yellows viruses. Emerging sugar beet seedlings are vulnerable to predation by aphids which have the potential to spread beet yellows virus. Sugar beet crops have been severely affected, with 2020 yields down by a quarter on previous years. Other pesticide and organic treatments are not sufficiently effective in controlling viruses. 63% of the UK’s sugar comes from domestic production of sugar beet which could be at risk if a significant amount of the national crop is infected. The strictly time limited emergency authorisation of this neonicotinoid treatment - Syngenta’s Cruiser SB - will provide emergency protection against this virus, which could significantly impact yields of the sugar beet crop while the beet industry develops alternative solutions. Its exceptional temporary use will be tightly controlled and only permitted in very specific circumstances when strict requirements are met. A Defra spokesperson said: “This decision has not been taken lightly and is based on robust scientific assessment. We evaluate the risks very carefully and only grant temporary emergency authorisations for restricted pesticides in special circumstances when strict requirements are met. “Last year the threshold was not met so the authorisation was never exercised. Strict criteria remain in place meaning this authorisation will only be used if necessary.”
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