The Council’s political agreement bans the marketing and use of substances proven to be carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic for reproduction, amid claims from manufacturers and farmers that the new rules will drive up food prices even further. The compromise text was backed in particular by the French, Italian and Czech delegations, while the UK was the strongest opponent, supported by Ireland, Romania and Hungary.
Anti-pesticide campaigners where pleased with the result. Elliott Cannell from Pesticide Action Network said it was “a landmark in European health policy and means some of Europe’s most hazardous pesticides will be removed from food products grown in the EU.”
The European Crop Protection Association (ECPA), representing European manufacturers of agrochemicals were “disillusioned and frustrated” by the Council agreement (disclaimer: as stated in the About section, Pesticideinformation is sponsored by ECPA). Director General, Friedhelm Schmider, argued: “just because a product has hazardous properties does not mean it is dangerous. Proper risk evaluations of products are required to determine this, taking the dose and actual use into consideration.”
A few months ago, PesticideInformation.eu also interviewed UK scientist Dr Ian Denholm from the Rothemsted Research institute in the UK about the proposed pesticide reform. He was concerned about the lack of scientific consultation on the proposals, saying “What worries me is that we are now faced with a set of potential revisions which are not scientifically justified but are coming from an area that is much more dogma than objective science.”
The legislative process in short so far:
- In July 2006, the European Commission adopted a package proposals on plant protection products, consisting of:
- A new regulation regarding the Placing of Plant Protection Products on the Market, which will revise the current Directive 91/414/EEC (governing PPP authorisation).
- A Framework Directive (& Communication) on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides
- On 23rd June, the Council of Agricultural Ministers reached a political agreement on the proposed Regulation
- Following the political agreement, ministers should adopt a common position on the text in autumn 2008, so that it can be transmitted to the Parliament for its second reading
There is a lot of coverage online post this agreement, which we are logging in the Delicious tags in the right-hand column of this site. To read more, select Agriculture Council, pesticide, and cut-off criteria.
Or listen to BBC Radio 4 podcast from Farming Today, who interview a farmer about the proposed pesticide legislation and how it will impact his arable farming in Norfolk, England.Author : Helen Dunnett