HC Deb 15 April 1970 vol 799 cc1380-1
34. Mrs. Joyce Butler

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will introduce regulations requiring more informative labelling of domestic insecticide aerosols similar to those required for farm and garden insecticides under the Farm and Garden Chemicals Act.

Mr. Hoy

The Advisory Committee on Pesticides and Other Toxic Chemicals recommended in December, 1969, that pesticides for domestic uses should be subject to mandatory labelling requirements. My right hon. Friend is considering legislation to implement this and other recommendations with his right hon. Friends.

Mrs. Butler

But in view of the very liberal and often hit-and-miss way in which domestic aerosols are used, particularly near food, could my right hon. Friend indicate when we may expect this legislation, because it is a matter of some urgency that safety precautions and active ingredients should be shown on the containers?

Mr. Hoy

We hope to introduce the legislation as quickly as possible, but, obviously, we must take into consultation other Departments and interests. There is no evidence that domestic insecticide aerosols present a special hazard, and they are generally safer than other types of insecticide pack. But, obviously, all these matters will have to be taken into account before introducing legislation.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

When drafting the regulations, would the right hon. Gentleman take care not to include too much information on the label? At the moment a great many labels have much too much information on them, with the result that nothing on them is read. Will he ensure that only important information, such as the danger of toxicity, is included?

Mr. Hoy

I shall take every precaution I can. Occasionally I get into trouble in the House. If I do as the hon. Gentleman suggests, I am told that there is too little information on the label. On other occasions I am told that there is too much. Sometimes I am criticised because the size of print is too large or too small. I shall exercise the best care I can.