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Herbicide 2,4,5=T

Volume 975: debated on Monday 10 December 1979

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the representations he has received concerning the complaints about the use of the weedkiller 2,4,5=T.

Apart from questions raised in the House and in another place, we have had 12 letters from hon. Members, usually enclosing correspondence from their constituents. Additionally, letters have been received from four organisations and six individuals.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the countries within the EEC that have banned the use of the weedkiller 2,4,5=T; whether he has ascertained from the appropriate Community Agriculture Ministers the reasons for doing so; and whether he is still prepared to allow its use in the United Kingdom.

The use of 2,4,5=T herbicides is not banned in France, West Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg and Denmark, and is banned in Italy (since 1970) and the Netherlands (since 1978) and it is not for me to question their decisions. I am not aware of any scientific evidence upon which the herbicides concerned have been banned in these or any other countries.If there was such evidence it would have been received and sifted by our expert advisory committee on pesticides. In the absence of such evidence the advisory committee has recommended, and the Government have concluded, that these products can safely be used provided, as with all chemicals, they are used as recommended.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why he will not agree to an inquiry into the use of the weedkiller 2,4,5=7.

Because, like the previous Administration, the Government accept the conclusions of the advisory committee on pesticides, whose findings were published as recently as last March. Since then, neither the Government nor the advisory committee have received any evidence which would justify a further review.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will agree to a joint meeting of his advisory committee on the use of chemicals and weedkillers and officials and advisors of the National Union of Aricultural and Allied Workers to ascertain their views on the uses of the weedkiller 2,4,5=T.

I offered the union facilities of this kind as far back as 16 November.