Bonfire of Quangos Hits Environmental Organisations

15 October 2010

Burning papers

Today the UK government announced its list of "Quangos" - Quasi Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisations to be abolished, restructured, or their functions returned to government departments. Some of these bodies might be useless or a drain on the UK's coffers in these hard financial times, but some of them dealt with important areas concerning the environment.

Three bodies, the Pesticide Residue Committee (PRC), the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution will be abolished, with the former two being reconsituted as a "panel of experts" . The PRC was responsible for a major programme of pesticide-testing in food and drink products being consumed in the UK, collecting more than 3,500 samples and publishing its findings to the public four times a year.

In its most recent report it found 40 per cent of food contained residues of pesticides, with just over one per cent containing residues above the maximum permitted levels.

The Soil Association said it still hoped the reformed "committee of experts" would deal with the issue of pesticides in a "fair and open manner with due consideration to the environmental impact and health risks associated with these dangerous chemicals".

The government has also announced major cuts to the budgets of Environment Agency and Natural England, which will reduce their ability to protect the countryside and our natural assets.

The government's spending review will be out later this month. It is likely that further cuts to programmes of an environmental nature will be contemplated.


Quangos to be culled:

List of Quangos to be abolished

Blog by Julian Jackson

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