To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the use of ethylene bisdithiocarbamate pesticides.
The Environmental Protection Agency —EPA—has, I understand, decided to reinstate approval for the use of ethylene bisdithiocarbamate pesticides EBDCs—on 42 crops. This decision is very much in line with the view we took on this issue over two years ago, based on advice from the independent Advisory Committee on Pesticides—ACP—which was published in January 1990. After an exhaustive examination the committee found no evidence of cancer or other adverse health effects to consumers from the use of EBDCs or from the metabolite ethylenethiourea. I am glad that the EPA has now reached a similar conclusion. This is a further vindication of work carried out by the ACP and reinforces the confidence the public should have in the effectiveness of the United Kingdom system for approving pesticides.