Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (739)

Michael Harty


739. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps he has taken to comply with three conditions laid down by the European Commission for further use of glyphosate (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23696/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department removed glyphosate products containing the co-formulant POE tallowamine from the Irish market in 2016.  In addition, glyphosate products remaining on the market are not permitted to be used pre-harvest for desiccation/harvest management purposes in cereals. However, some products are allowed for use on crops close to harvest for the control of problematic weeds. It should be noted that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) review of glyphosate included an assessment of potential dietary exposure that could result from pre-harvest use and concluded that this use does not pose a risk to human health.

With regard to glyphosate use in public spaces, there is a requirement through the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive (Directive 2009/128/EC) to minimise the use of pesticides in such areas.  This applies to all pesticides, not just those containing glyphosate.  Preference should be given to non-chemical weed control methods and, where this is not practical or economically feasible, it is only permissible to use products not classified as being hazardous to the environment. My Department has produced specific guidance for both public and private users alike to support sustainable use of pesticides in the amenity sector.

Regarding the use of plant protection products containing glyphosate in Ireland, my Department continues to monitor international peer-reviewed scientific evidence and to follow EFSA and European Chemicals Agency conclusions and guidance.