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Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL6524, tabled on 3 April 2017

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the risks to British farming of the withdrawal of glyphosate.

Answered on

12 April 2017

Glyphosate is important to British farming, as well as to other sectors such as transport infrastructure. In the farming context, alternative means of weed control are limited in a number of situations. Even where there are alternatives, these are likely to require other changes in practices and to carry significant costs.

There would be real difficulties if glyphosate were to be withdrawn. However, the Government does not believe that this should happen. Effective pesticides should be authorised where the scientific evidence shows they do not pose unacceptable risks to human health or the environment. In the case of glyphosate, UK and EU experts have identified no safety concerns arising from its continuing use. The EU is due to decide later this year whether or not to continue to allow the use of glyphosate.