Weedkillers: Crops

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 10th June 2021.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the impact of Aminopyralid residues on (a) crop production (b) people who rely on home-grown crops for food security over the last 12 months.

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

The herbicide aminopyralid is authorised for the control of annual and perennial broadleaf weeds in certain crops, turf and pasture. Aminopyralid products are subject to strict conditions of use aimed at preventing aminopyralid residues from leaving farms where it has been used.

The Health and Safety Executive maintains close contact with the main authorisation holder for this herbicide, Corteva Agriscience, and has regular reviews of this issue. The number of reported incidents has declined significantly since the measures were introduced in 2009 and is now at a very low level. Corteva has a product stewardship programme in place that is designed to ensure users are fully aware of the particular requirements for correct use.

In our 25 Year Environment Plan, the Government has outlined its approach to reducing the environmental impact of pesticides while protecting crops. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) lies at the heart of our approach to maximise the use of non-chemical control techniques and minimise the use of chemical pesticides. IPM means that pesticide users can reduce the associated risks (including indirect effects), combat pest resistance, and support agricultural productivity. This includes increasing the use of nature-based, low toxicity solutions and precision technologies, with potential to enhance biodiversity.

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