§ Sir Roger Moate
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of progress in the speeding up of pesticide registration and evaluation; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Soames
Good progress is being made by the Pesticides Safety Directorate in speeding up the pesticide evaluation system. Applications for new active ingredients are now being evaluated shortly after receipt of the full data package and the target is to clear 15 such applications in the current year. This is a substantial increase on previous years. Queues have also been eliminated in three other approval streams covering experimental permits and minor changes to existing approvals. The waiting period for applications requiring the evaluation of new data in respect of existing products had been reduced from a peak of 91 weeks to 67 weeks. I expect this period to be reduced significantly over the next few months.