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Pesticides

Volume 124: debated on Thursday 17 December 1987

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17.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent discussions he has had in the European Community about the levels of pesticide residues in food.

Since the Council of Agriculture Ministers adopted directive setting maximum residue levels for certain pesticides in cereals and products of animal origin in June last year, discussions have continued at official level on further proposals for amendments to the fruit and vegetable directives. Last week the Council had its first discussion of the progress made and will return to the subject early next year.

29.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many representations he received in 1986 in relation to the effects of agricultural pesticides.

During 1986 I received approximately 200 letters concerning agricultural pesticides which covered a wide range of issues, including legislation, residues, controls on use and aerial application.

73.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is considering new measures on the control and use of pesticides; and if he will make a statement.

After consultation with the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP), and following the timetable set down in the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986, a variety of new controls will take effect in Great Britain from 1 January 1988. These include the following requirements:

  • (a) on users of pesticides that they observe the conditions of approval of each pesticide, in particular in relation to the permitted use and crop, the maximum dose rate, harvest and other intervals, operator protection including clothing, and environmental safeguards;
  • (b) on suppliers of pesticides to farmers and growers, to show through certification their understanding of crop protection and related health and environmental questions;
  • (c) on suppliers to the amenity horticulture industry, similar relevant qualifications.
  • The implications of these new controls for the industries concerned have been the subject of detailed consultation. My noble Friend Baroness Trumpington announced on 30 October interim arrangements governing the application of pesticides to minor crops, and guidance on the use of low-volume spraying techniques will be given following the next meeting of the ACP in February 1988. Further requirements on the training and certification of pesticide operators in agriculture, horticulture and forestry come into force on 1 January 1989 and I am concerned that employers and employees take full advantage of the training facilities now available.