Agriculture: Pesticides

House of Lords written question – answered on 30th March 2009.

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Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the precautionary principle was exercised in their deliberations upon the European Union Regulation for the Placing of Plant Protection Products on the Market; and, if so, why they opposed the removal of the most hazardous pesticides, including those which are carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic for reproduction.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Minister of State (Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality), Department for Energy and Climate Change, Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change), Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality) (also in the Department for Energy and Climate Change), Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

The Government welcome most of the new regulation and are not opposed to the introduction of hazard criteria for substances which are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction. The Government cannot, however, support the regulation because of the uncertainty regarding the impact of the hazard criterion for potential human endocrine disrupters. This provision is likely to have a detrimental agronomic impact, but in the absence of an impact assessment or of a definition of endocrine disruption for these purposes, it is impossible to judge whether there will be any positive benefit accruing from this element of the regulation.

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