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Plants: EU Action

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what response he has made to the European Parliament's proposals on the draft Regulation concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market; and if he will make a statement. (234830)

The European Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee adopted its second reading report on 5 November 2008. It contains many amendments, which we are still examining in detail. It is, however, clear that they have moderated the first reading amendments which would have had the greatest impact on the availability of plant protection products.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps he is taking to ensure an assessment of the impact of the proposed EU regulation on the placing of plant protection products on the market on the UK ornamental horticulture and gardening industry is made prior to any implementation; and if he will make a statement; (234854)

(2) what assessment he has made of the potential impact on UK producers, suppliers and distributors of plant protection products as a consequence of the European Parliament's position on the proposal for a Regulation concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market.

The Pesticides Safety Directorate is revising its previous impact assessment (published in May 2008) in light of the second reading report adopted by the Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee on 5 November 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that the derogation contained in the Council of Ministers’ Common Position of the proposal for a Regulation concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market for emergency use of plant protection products for up to five years will continue; and if he will make a statement. (234855)

The United Kingdom will support retention of the derogation during the second reading negotiations with the European Parliament.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the zoning proposals contained in the draft EU Regulation concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market; whether he is seeking any changes to these zones; and if he will make a statement. (234857)

The United Kingdom welcomed the concept of zonal authorisation in the Commission’s proposal and supports the compromise provisions adopted as part of the common position of the Agriculture Council in June 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will commission a further analysis by experts of the proposed zones in regards to the proposed EU Regulation concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market; and if he will make a statement. (234858)

The United Kingdom is satisfied with the analysis prepared in 2006 by the Commission for their proposed regulation. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he has taken to address the potential impact on the British horticulture industry of the European Parliament’s proposals on substitution contained in its position on the proposed EU Regulation concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market; and if he will make a statement. (234859)

The Parliament’s first reading report included amendments for identifying and approving candidates for substitution which could ultimately have eliminated a large number of active substances. The Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee adopted its second reading report on the proposed regulation on 5 November 2008. It included modified amendments on candidates for substitution which would allow these substances to remain on the market until replacements were available. Consequently, these provisions would not be expected to have any significant impact on the British horticulture industry.