Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2069)

Catherine Murphy


2069. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 482 of 28 November 2017, the position regarding pre-harvest spraying of certain crops with glyphosate-based products; if he has consulted with the Minister for Health on same in the past two years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32629/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is the Competent Authority in Ireland with responsibility for the authorisation of Plant Protection Products (PPPs). Regulatory decisions on the approval and use of pesticides are based on the scientific consensus view of all the relevant technical information from all sources. In regard to glyphosate, my Department is guided by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), who have both concluded, on the basis of extensive reviews, and involving public consultation, that glyphosate can be used safely without putting consumers or users at risk. The EFSA review included an assessment of potential dietary exposure that could result from pre-harvest use. This process guided the decision to renew the authorisation of glyphosate within the European Union in 2017.

Following the approval of active substances at EU level, plant protection products (formulations containing the active ingredient) are assessed thoroughly at a national level on the basis of detailed scientific evaluations conducted in accordance with agreed EU standards and taking account of local agronomic and environmental conditions. This process is currently on-going at Member State level and may result in some changes to the authorised uses for glyphosate based products. My Department will only authorise plant protection products on the basis of robust scientific evidence indicating high levels of protection for human and animal health and the environment.

The EU process for consideration of a further renewal of approval of glyphosate will begin in December 2019 and a full dossier will be submitted to the Member States Assessment Group on Glyphosate (France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden) by 15 June 2020. This process will involve a comprehensive scientific evaluation of all relevant data from all sources and will include a public consultation period.