Bill to give public

27 June 1997

Bill to give public

pesticide facts

PROPOSALS to provide consumers with more information on pesticides have been unveiled by Labour MP Ben Bradshaw (Exeter).

Mr Bradshaw highlighted a recent SAFE Alliance report which showed that over 88% of strawberries tested contained at least one pesticide residue, and some had up to five.

Yet, Mr Bradshaw claimed only a fraction of information on these pesticides was available to the public. "Ministers have powers to release information on only those pesticides that have been approved since 1995 or older pesticides that have been reviewed since that time.

"Only 140 of the older pesticides in active use have so far been reviewed. At least 200 other pesticides await review and information on these is therefore kept from the public," he said.

MAFF backed the private members Bill, saying it was the governments intention to provide consumers with information on food safety issues.

While accepting that food safety was paramount, the NFU said it had launched a variety of protocols with multiples to meet stringent demands on pesticide use.

Details from the advisory committee on pesticides working party showed that only a few samples of milk, apples and pears were over EU health pesticide guidelines .

Richard Trow-Smith, British Agrochemical Association spokesman, said EU legislation had asked EU member states to review selective pesticides.

"The review powers were split across Europe but only the UK government has completed its programme and Greece has yet to start its review," he said.

However, with the Bills second reading due on the same day as the controversial fox hunting Bill, its further progress is in serious doubt.

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