Agriculture: Metaldehyde

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 31st January 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Conservative, Preseli Pembrokeshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what representations he has received on the use of metaldehyde for agricultural purposes.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The decision to restrict authorisations arose from a routine review of safety data carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the UK Expert Committee on Pesticides under pesticides legislation. The review considered the available scientific information, including new studies commissioned by authorisation holders, and concluded that the risks to birds and mammals were unacceptable.

The decision was communicated to the authorisation holders by HSE as the UK regulator. Defra issued a press release outlining the reasons for the decision and also alerted water companies that have an interest in limiting metaldehyde emissions to water. Defra and HSE have had representations from stakeholders on the decision itself, some of which were supportive while others raised concerns. We have also had representations about the phase out period. We are in the process of replying to these representations.

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