Skip to main content

Pesticides

Volume 81: debated on Tuesday 18 June 1985

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will take steps to ensure that the advisory committee on pesticides is wholly independent in its membership from the agrochemical industry.

Great care is already taken to ensure that the chairman and members of the advisory committee on pesticides, and its scientific sub-committee, are independent of all sectional interests, including the agrochemical industry.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will describe the content and occasions of a declaration of interest being required of a member of the advisory committee on pesticides; and if he will publish the declarations of interest made by the present members;(2) whether the declarations of interest required of a member of the advisory committee on pesticides cover research work commissioned or funded by agrochemical companies or trade associations at laboratories under the control or direction of the member; and if he will make a statement.

On appointment to the advisory committee on pesticides members are required to read and sign the following declaration:

"I have no commercial interest which might make it undesirable for me to receive confidential trade information included in Advisory Committee papers. I also undertake to inform the Department of Education and Science should I acquire such an interest in the future.
I will not divulge the commercial proposals of the firms and confidential experimental data contained in such papers to those outside the Advisory Committee on Pesticides and its Subcommittees."
It is intended that when the committee becomes a statutory body members will continue to be asked to sign a declaration of independence from commercial pesticide interests. We are reviewing the text of the declaration with our legal advisers.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied that, throughout their service, present and past members of the advisory committee on pesticides, having a connection with an agrochemical company or trade association have maintained a level of objectivity consistent with their status as committee members; and if he will make a statement.

I am not aware that any past or present members of the advisory committee have, while serving the committee, been connected with an agrochemical company or trade association.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied with the range of expertise of the membership of the advisory committee on pesticides; and if he will make a statement.

I am satisfied that the range of expertise of the current advisory committee on pesticides is appropriate for the duties presently laid upon it. In view of the proposals to extend the existing safety screening system to include efficacy and humaneness, we are reviewing the composition of the committee to see if additional experts will be required for the future.