According to a new report by the Commission, improved procedures and increased resources are necessary if there is to be an evaluation of new and existing substances in the Community within a reasonable time period. As well as an increase in resources, strategies outlined in the report that can speed up the review of pesticides include tighter timelines, and better use of information technologies.

“This report gives a complete overview of the hugely ambitious exercise of pesticides evaluation that was started in 1991, and its results so far”, Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner David Byrne said. “All this work is intended to make sure that the active substances used in pesticides do not present a risk or harm health and the environment.”

The report will now be put before the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

The Commission also published on 27 July a report into pesticide residues in food in Europe which revealed that 4% of 40,000 samples of fruit, vegetables and cereals taken in 1999 were found to be above maximum residue limits, a substantial increase on previous surveys.

Overview of the current pesticides evaluation programme

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