Royal commissionon on environmental pollution opens consultation on pesticides and bystander exposure

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Third Floor 5-8 The Sanctuary Westminster London SW1P 3JS

NEWS RELEASE for immediate use

The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollutioni announced on 16 June 2004 that it is to undertake a special study on pesticides and bystander exposure. Today the Commission officially commences its call for evidence and invites interested parties to submit information and views in response to the intended scope of the study outlined below.

The Commission will examine the scientific evidence on which Defra has based its decision on bystander exposure and its policy on access to information on crop spraying. The Commission will also consider wider issues related to the handling and communication of risk and uncertainty, as well as public involvement, values and perceptions in this context.ii The Commission invites evidence on, and comments regarding, the intended scope of the study as well as recommendations for specific questions to be addressed.

Written evidence submitted to the Commission will be made available to the public upon request, unless those submitting it specify otherwise.

The pesticides and bystander exposure study will be carried out over the autumn and winter and will be published in the spring/summer of 2005. Evidence should be sent to the Commission by 29 October 2004iii. Submissions of evidence, enquiries about the study and further information regarding the approach the Commission is adopting or the kind of input it will find most useful, should be directed to: Dan Hamza Goodacre, Secretariat, Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 5-8 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JS (telephone 020 7799 8987; email

The Commission is also planning to hold a public meeting on Saturday 25 September 2004 in London. Further details of the meeting will be released shortly.


i The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution is an independent body, appointed by the Queen and funded by the government, which publishes in-depth reports on what it identifies as the crucial environmental issues facing the UK and the world. The Royal Commission’s full reports are presented to Parliament. This special study will be carried out over a shorter timescale than full reports, but it is based on reports that the Royal Commission has published in the past, together with new material.

ii In accordance with the recommendations set out in the Royal Commission’s Twenty-first Report Setting Environmental Standards, the consultation aims to include people’s values in both the framing of the problem and in the definition of the questions to be addressed. The Commission would be pleased to receive further suggestions for additional individuals or organisations who should receive an invitation to submit information or views.

iii Evidence should preferably be sent in an electronic format (via e-mail or on disk in PC format). When the initial information has been considered the Commission may request oral evidence from relevant parties.

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