There is no misuse or inappropriate use of Roundup or herbicides containing glyphosate in Ireland, according to the Minister for Agriculture.

The Minister, Simon Coveney, said that annual reports on his Department’s website, show that no cereals of Irish origin breach the Maximum Residue Levels established in the EU.

“Furthermore, these results indicate that there is no misuse or inappropriate use of glyphosate-containing products on cereals and indeed the results prove that there are no indications of misuse of any plant protection products (PPP) on Irish cereal crops and are indicative of responsible PPP use.”

The Minister also said that, in addition, as part of the cross-compliance inspection regime carried out at farm level, checks are carried out to ensure that plant protection products are used by farmers in accordance with their conditions of authorisation.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív had questioned the Minister on the use of glyphosate in Ireland and if there was any monitoring carried out on major commercial spraying.

The Minister glyphosate has been approved to desiccate crops, to manipulate harvest date and improve crop quality, since products containing glyphosate were first commercialised in the 1970s but only a limited proportion of the cereal crops receive such an application.

He said all plant protection product uses (including that of pre-harvest glyphosate) are monitored via the Department’s annual pesticide residue monitoring programme.

“This is a programme that is agreed in conjunction with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and the European Commission.

“The programme involves the sampling of produce at distribution centres, grain assemblers, and other storage and processing premises, additionally, processed food samples are taken. These samples are analysed for up to 400 pesticides including glyphosate.”