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 assessment he has made of the (a) potential increase and (b) associated risks in the use of ferric phosphates as a replacement for metaldehyde in farming.

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

The use of ferric phosphate for controlling slugs has increased in recent years. Use is likely to increase further as metaldehyde will no longer be permitted for outdoor use after 30 June 2020.

Ferric phosphate is authorised for use as a pesticide and the risk assessment carried out demonstrates that it will not harm people or carry unacceptable risks to the environment. In particular, it does not carry the risks to birds and mammals that have led to the decision to remove the authorisation of metaldehyde. The assessment also shows that ferric phosphate is effective in controlling slugs.

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