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Farron challenges Benn to provide pesticide assessment

November 3, 2008 12:00 AM

Shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA Tim Farron MP has called on the Government-and not the EU-to take the lead on pesticide usage.

On Wednesday, the European Parliament's Environment Committee will give its second reading to the Pesticides Directive which would introduce stricter guidelines regulating the use of pesticides. If the directive is approved, it is estimated that up to 80% of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides could be taken off the market.

Mr Farron has called for DEFRA to assume greater responsibility by asking Hilary Benn MP to undertake an immediate impact assessment following any changes to legislation.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"Existing pesticide practice within the UK already provides an outstanding benchmark for other countries .Pesticides are dangerous chemicals-and it makes sense that they should be regulated-but by our Government and not the EU.

"Domestic governments should be responsible for drawing up their own national guidelines to ensure proper use of pesticides and reducing unnecessary and wasteful use.

"Hilary Benn should undertake an immediate impact assessment to ascertain what affect this directive will have on farming in the UK."