Control of Pesticides etc.

Part of Orders of the Day — Food and Environment Protection Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 3:46 pm on 26th June 1985.

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Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 3:46 pm, 26th June 1985

The Government should accept the amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Holland with Boston (Mr. Body). I pay tribute to the Government for responding to pressure and to the other place for having moved forward. They have accepted that there should be a move towards giving people the right to know about pesticides.

The Parliamentary Secretary's words a fortnight ago on television are important because they highlight not only the possible advantages of the Government's amendments but the gap that will exist if we go only as far as the amendments take us. The hon. Lady said: The Bill empowers Ministers to make information available to the general public regarding the safety of pesticides. She went on to say: The details will all be available. Those two statements are not consistent. Government amendment No. 22 states: with a view to making information about pesticides available to the public". The criteria are set out, but the Government retain the right to determine exactly what will or will not be included in that information. If the Parliamentary Secretary is to give the House the assurance that she gave the nation via television— The details will all be available"— she must logically accept the amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Holland with Boston. It provides that information will become available automatically and naturally and not simply in a conditional sense because of what the Government's regulations impose.