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Volume 407: debated on Tuesday 24 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the regulations governing use of pesticides. [120538]

The Government's primary aim when it comes to pesticides is the protection of people and the environment. Pesticides are therefore strictly regulated in this country under national and EU rules and we have effective controls on pesticide residues on imported and home-grown produce. Moreover a gradual transition is already underway to an EC system of regulation which, in addition to safeguarding people and the environment like the UK's national regulations, is aimed at achieving consistent standards between Member States. However, I am advised that our national regime is quite robust enough to protect people and the environment until the EU system is fully up and running.