HC Deb 18 June 1999 vol 333 cc233-4W
Mr. Stinchcombe

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the use of lindane as a pesticide. [87944]

Mr. Rooker

The Government have noted the concerns raised about this compound and the assessment made by the Austrian authorities under the EU review of agricultural pesticides. The Government therefore asked the independent experts of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides to examine all the issues which have been raised.

The Committee advised that lindane does not pose an unacceptable risk to consumers but that the exposure of operators using lindane to treat seed was above acceptable levels. Ministers have therefore decided that the use of lindane as a seed treatment should cease immediately and that further conditions should be applied to some other agricultural and non-agricultural uses. Companies have until 28 June to make representations on the action proposed.

The Committee advised that more data are needed on the environmental effects of lindane. This point will be pursued as a priority.