Pesticides consultation published

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published the responses today to a consultation on new EU pesticides legislation.

DEFRA is responsible for the regulation of pesticides used in agriculture, horticulture and the home and garden.

The consultation began in February this year to address the new legislation under the EU's Thematic Strategy on Pesticides .

The department concludes that the UK safety standards on pesticide use will only need minor changes to meet the new requirements.

The draft legislation calls for a National Action Plan to be published by governments setting out how they will implement the new legislation.

There will be some changes to the training and certification regime and a statutory regime for equipment testing.

Statutory rules will also apply to restrict the sale of professional products to certified users.

In addition, proposals are being developed to revise the current fees and charges for pesticide approval testing and monitoring to meet the new EU obligations.

Lord Henley said: "We have to protect the public and the environment from harm, and we'll do so by following sound scientific and other robust evidence.

"By making a small number of changes to our existing approach, we can continue to help feed a growing global population with high-quality food that's affordable, while minimising the risks of using pesticides."

DEFRA says it will continue to take a risk-based approach to minimising the potential impacts of pesticides to people or the environment. They will consider taking further action if the current monitoring programme or other evidence demonstrate the need for revision.

Further consultation will take place next summer to ensure that new legislation is in place by November 2011. Alison Brown




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