Chemical Farming

Thank you for contacting me about pesticides.

There is already a rigorous process for authorising pesticides based on an assessment of potential risks, as well as robust controls which govern the level of residues permitted in food. The UK has a National Action Plan to ensure that pesticides can be used sustainably, which includes measures to reduce risks and impacts on both human health and the environment, and encourage the development of Integrated Pest Management. Integrated Pest Management involves minimising the need for pesticides by making the greatest possible use of alternative methods. These methods may include improved crop husbandry, using natural predators, and making better use of genetics and gene bank resources to build natural resilience to pests and diseases.

By minimising the use of pesticides and deploying them in a more targeted way, it is possible to reduce the impact on the environment while keeping open enough options to avoid the build-up of resistance and the need for higher doses.

It is important that we continue our scientific risk-based approach on this issue in the future