To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress is being made in achieving common standards of safety assessment and certification for agriculture pesticides within the European Community.
The European Community has been operating a prohibition directive since 1979 which requires member states to withdraw certain substances from circulation. The EC Commission is advised by a committee of scientific experts in making its recommendations under this directive, and unanimous agreement of member states is required in the Council before substances can be added to the existing list of prohibitions. Outside the scope of this directive member states operate national controls on the supply and use of pesticides. A draft directive proposing an EC regime for approving or accepting pesticides was tabled by the EC Commission in 1976, but no progress has been made in discussing it in recent years.