The summary of responses and initial Government response to the consultation on implementing new European pesticides legislation has been published today.
As UK pesticides safety standards are already amongst the highest in Europe, only minor changes are necessary to meet the new requirements, and no compelling evidence was provided in the responses to justify further extending existing regulations and voluntary controls.
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.”
Further consultation will take place next summer to ensure that new legislation is in place by November 2011.
The draft legislation will include:
- provisions for the Government to publish a National Action Plan that sets out how the UK will implement the EU legislation;
- some changes to the training and certification regime;
- a statutory regime for equipment testing; and
- a statutory regime restricting the sale of professional products to certified users.
Proposals for revising the current fees and charges which pay for pesticide approval testing and monitoring are also being developed to meet the new EU obligations and will be consulted on in the new year.
The Government will continue to take a risk-based approach to minimising the potential impacts of pesticides to people or the environment and further action will be taken should the current monitoring programme or other evidence demonstrate the need.
The new legislation forms part of the EU Thematic Strategy on Pesticides, which aims to bring all member states up to comparable high standards, like those in the UK, to create a level playing field across Europe.
The responses to the consultation on the new EU legislation can be found at: archive.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/pesticides/index.htm.
The consultation asked for views on two separate pieces of legislation; the Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides and some aspects of a Regulation on the Marketing of Plant Protection Products. Further information can be found at: www.pesticides.gov.uk/approvals.asp?id=2308.
3. The consultation was carried out by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate of the Health and Safety Executive on behalf of Defra, the Welsh Assembly Government, the Scottish Executive, and the Northern Ireland Assembly.