HC Deb 15 July 2003 vol 409 cc155-6W
Mr. Randall

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action has been taken to assess rodenticides residue in(a) domestic and (b) non-domestic animals customarily eaten by humans and potential implications for public health. [124636]

Mr. Browne

I have been asked to reply.

The Health and Safety Executive has recently taken over responsibility from DEFRA for the registration and assessment of rodenticides under the Control of Pesticides Regulations. All rodenticides are assessed prior to approval been granted to ensure they do not pose an unacceptable risk to man and the wider environment.

Each approval is granted, by Ministers, subject to specific Conditions of Approval" which are legal requirements and must be followed. These conditions are recorded in the approval documents and are reflected on the product label. The label will inform the user what the product has approval for use against, how it must be used to be effective and essential risk and safety advice associated with the product. The directions for use and the precautionary phrases will give the user guidance on how to avoid exposure to domestic and non-domestic animals. When carrying out a treatment the label advice must be followed and the potential risks involved when using a product should be considered.

Following approval of a product, the Approval Holder is under an ongoing responsibility to report adverse data associated with the product to the regulatory authority. Additionally, the Pesticides Residues Committee, a sub-committee of the independent Advisory Committee on Pesticides, conduct a ongoing programme of testing to assess the residue levels of pesticides in food stuffs. The Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme looks at cases where domestic and non-domestic animals have been poisoned by pesticides. Information gathered from these monitoring processes are fed back into the approvals process and, if appropriate, action can be taken against products.