§ Mr. Hardy
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the implication of the decision by certain leading retailers in imposing United Nations maximum residue level standards on the fungicide and sprout inhibitors used in treatment of potatoes for the maintenance of the standards imposed by Her Majesty's Government in these areas.
§ Mr. MacGregor
The fungicide and sprout inhibitor referred to is Tecnazene, for which we proposed in a consultative document issued in April a maximum residue level for potatoes of 1 mg/kg to be introduced in five years' time.
Contracts made by retailers with their suppliers are a matter for their commercial judgment. Tecnazene is controlled under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 and its presence in potatoes is regularly monitored by the working party on pesticide residues. There is no indication of a health hazard in the levels of this fungicide currently used in the United Kingdom. The Advisory Committee on Pesticides is currently considering the matter and I hope to have its advice on a figure appropriate to United Kingdom conditions as soon as possible.