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Pesticide Risk Reduction Strategy Underway

Work has begun on a strategy to reduce the use of pesticides, the Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, said today.

"People are concerned about the effects of pesticides on crops, on their health and on the environment," Marian Hobbs said. "Therefore, it is important to ensure that they are used only where necessary and that the overall burden of pesticides on the environment is reduced."

The Ministry for the Environment is preparing a public discussion document backed by specialist advice from experts.

"Sound information about what's happening, or what could happen, to reduce the impact of pesticides is an essential basis for this work," Marian Hobbs said. "Major user groups will be approached to provide this information. The community will be able to comment on the public discussion document, which will include proposals for pesticides reduction."

Consultation on the document is likely to begin late this year.

"There are genuine and significant concerns about the use of pesticides," Marian Hobbs added. "Industry, the government and the communities that are most affected by their use need to work together on how the risks can be reduced.”

Development of the strategy will build on efforts already under way by industry, such as work on integrated pest management and current government initiatives such as support for the organics industry. The work will complement the recently announced Ministerial Advisory Committee on Agrichemical Trespass that is focussed on the management of "off target application" of agrichemicals.

Ends

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