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Volume 76: debated on Monday 1 April 1985

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total quantity of organophosphorus pesticides manufactured in the United Kingdom and imported; and if he will make a statement as to its distribution and handling and the present precautions advised by his Department in regard to its handling and usage.

The manufacture and import of pesticides are matters for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, while the safe handling of pesticides in the distribution trade is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment.As regards advice on precautions to be taken when the pesticide is used, I should explain that many factors can affect the safety in use of a pesticide and formulated organophosphorus pesticides vary greatly from product to product. The precise active ingredient contained in the product, its concentration and the nature of the formulation (eg liquid, powder or granule) can all affect the safety of the product and hence the precautions which should be taken in handling and using it. Under the pesticides safety precautions scheme all the advice and recommendations necessary to ensure the safe use of a pesticide product, including, where necessary, the appropriate provisions of the Poisonous Substances in Agriculture Regulations, are clearly printed on the product labels.