Pesticides: Environment Protection

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 12th February 2021.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the final Revised National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides will be expanded to include a commitment to focus innovation and research and development on nature-based solutions and agroecological innovation in addition to its current focus on new technologies.

Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the final Revised National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides will ensure that farmers are able to access agronomic advice which is delinked from the agrochemical industry.

Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of relying on voluntary codes, industry self-regulation and industry bodies such as the Voluntary Initiative and Amenity Forum as a means of reducing pesticide use in the draft Revised National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides; and whether that approach will be replaced with mandatory measures in the final draft National Action Plan.

Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the final Revised National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides will include stronger measures for improving the uptake of Integrated Pest Management by farmers by (a) guaranteeing payments for nature-based Integrated Pest Management and pesticide reduction under the Environmental Land Management Scheme and (b) committing to introduce crop or area specific groups to bring farmers together to discuss common obstacles and solutions for reducing pesticide use.

Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the final Revised National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides will be expanded to include stronger measures designed to protect pollinators.

Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the final Revised National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides will be expanded to increase the transparency on pesticides by including (a) mandatory spray notifications for both rural and urban residents and (b) public access to spray records.

Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the final Revised National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides will be updated to include a commitment to develop a human biomonitoring programme designed to monitor exposure within the UK population to pesticides.

Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the final Revised National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides will include provisions for involving the Department of Health (a) in decisions related to the approval of pesticides with known human health implications and (b) to help develop a reporting and monitoring system for pesticide exposure incidents in the UK.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We are currently consulting the public on the draft Revised National Action Plan for Sustainable Use of Pesticides (NAP) and will be receiving responses until 26 February 2021. The draft NAP outlines how we plan to improve regulation, support the uptake of Integrated Pest Management, improve safe use, improve metrics, and review the governance and implementation of UK pesticides policy.

The consultation is an opportunity for all interested parties to voice their opinion. We will finalise the NAP once we have analysed all the responses.

The Government’s first priority with regard to pesticides is to ensure that they will not harm people or pose unacceptable risks to the environment. We operate a strict system for regulating pesticides where a pesticide can only be placed on the market if the product has been authorised following a thorough risk assessment by our expert regulator, the Health and Safety Executive.

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