Pesticides

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 6th March 2015.

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Photo of The Earl of Caithness The Earl of Caithness Conservative

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the conclusions of the Anderson Farm Consultants report The Effect of the Loss of Plant Protection Products on UK Agriculture and Horticulture and the Wider Economy, published in October 2014; and what are their reasons for any disagreement with those conclusions.

Photo of Lord de Mauley Lord de Mauley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

This report was commissioned by the Agricultural Industries Confederation, the Crop Protection Association and the National Farmers Union. It concludes that 40 pesticide active substances are likely to be lost or restricted under European Union (EU) legislation between now and 2020. A further 47 active substances could be threatened. Consequent crop yield losses are likely to lead to substantial loss of profits and jobs across the farming and food sectors.

The report concludes that policies in this area should be science-led and based on a realistic and proportionate assessment of risk.

The Government has not carried out a detailed assessment of the analysis set out in the Andersons Centre report. However, we would support the central conclusions that current EU pesticide rules will reduce the range of available products. We also agree that decisions on pesticide approval should be proportionate and be taken on the basis of a scientific assessment of risk. Parts of the EU regime for the approval of pesticides do not currently work in this way.

The EU Regulation on the approval of pesticides includes a review clause. UK Ministers are pressing the Commission to make sure that the review is carried out thoroughly and takes full account of costs and benefits of regulation.

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