HC Deb 26 March 1998 vol 309 cc269-70W
Mr. Baker

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to secure a reduction in the use of pesticide by (a) bulk, (b) concentration and (c) acreage covered; and if he will make a statement. [36364]

Mr. Rooker

The Government aim to minimise the impact of pesticides on the environment. In isolation, the bulk, concentration or acreage sprayed are not precise measures of the impact of pesticides, particularly as they do not take account of the relative toxicity of the many different chemicals used as agricultural pesticides. Instead we are developing a range of environmental indicators, including pesticide indicators which aim to provide a more realistic measure of the impact of pesticides. I plan to issue initial proposals for consultation shortly.