Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Pesticide Use

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
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191. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the banning or restriction of the use of glyphosate by public bodies. [9366/22]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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Pesticide active substances, such as glyphosate, contained in plant protection products are approved centrally at EU level and plant protection products are subsequently authorised for specific uses, nationally using robust scientific evaluation and decision-making criteria.

Glyphosate is currently approved and the EU process to determine if the approval can be renewed is ongoing with a decision expected in the coming months following a detailed scientific review by the European Food Safety Authority, the European Chemicals Agency, and Member State technical experts.

At national level, further controls on the use of pesticides are implemented under the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive. These include requirements for training and certification of pesticide users, distributors and advisors, and inspection and certification of pesticide application equipment. It also includes the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which includes alternative approaches and techniques to chemical use where possible.

It is, therefore, a matter for public bodies to decide to use authorised plant protection products if they comply with the relevant provisions of the Sustainable Use Directive. This includes the requirement to avoid the use of pesticides in areas used by the general public unless:

(i) a risk assessment has shown that their use is necessary and

(ii) appropriate risk management measures have been put in place.

Regulatory changes impacting the use of pesticides are due to be considered as part of the ongoing implementation of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy, which aims to reduce the overall use and risk of chemical pesticides by 50% and the use of more hazardous pesticides by 50% by 2030. The European Commission is currently finalising a proposal for a new Sustainable Use Regulation to replace the Sustainable Use Directive. Careful consideration will be given to this proposal when it is presented by the Commission.


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