18 February 1998
FoE wants FSA to have power to block pesticides

FRIENDS of the Earth called for the proposed Food Standards Agency to have powers to veto the sale of pesticides on health grounds.

Peter Riley, FoE food campaigner, told the Commons agriculture committee that the Pesticides Safety Directorate should be separated from its parent department, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and moved to the Department of Health.

He conceded he could not prove a direct link between pesticide residues and human illness, but pesticides were designed to harm living creatures and residues should be eliminated from food.

The British Agrochemicals Association said only 1% of routine samples of food commodities contained pesticide residues above the “maximum” recommended level.

Geoff Bruce, chief executive of the pesticides directorate, said new agrochemicals were generally more environmentally friendly.

  • Financial Times 18/02/98 page 11