Skip to main content

Pesticides

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) his counterparts and (b) farming industry representatives from (i) other EU member states, (ii) Scotland and (iii) Wales on (A) current and proposed EU pesticide regulations, (B) the import of farm products from countries outside the EU and (C) proposed changes to the EU modulation regime; and if he will make a statement. (251280)

The UK’s negotiating position on the proposed authorisation regulation for plant protection products was adopted in consultation with other Departments and the devolved administrations through the Committee on National Security, International Relations and Development’s sub-committee on Europe. Ministers worked extremely hard throughout the negotiations to secure a balanced outcome, and held bilateral meetings with Commissioner Vassiliou, Ministers of other member states, and key stakeholders on the proposals and its potential impacts. It remains unclear how the introduction of the regulation will affect the import of produce from outside the EU.

The Secretary of State had numerous discussions with other member states, devolved administrations and stakeholders on the CAP Health Check, including changes to the EU modulation regime. These helped to achieve an increased focus on environmental benefits across Europe, by increasing the rate of compulsory modulation to 10 per cent. by 2012, and therefore the share of CAP funding that goes towards environment and rural development schemes. As part of this, the Secretary of State met Ministers from other member states, including France, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Ireland, Denmark and Hungary, as well as Commissioner Fischer-Boel. In their approach to the health check negotiations, the Government worked closely with the devolved Administrations, both through ministerial meetings and technical discussions between officials, and with stakeholders, including through ministerial meetings and a public consultation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the effects of a reduction in pesticides usage on levels of greenhouse gas emissions. (251987)

[holding answer 27 January 2009]: My Department is currently not conducting any assessments of the effects of a reduction in pesticides usage on levels of greenhouse gas emissions.