NFU urges EU to see sense over pesticides

The ongoing pesticide review by the European Commission has been described as piece of absolute madness by NFU president Peter Kendall.

Speaking at Cereals 2008, he said while some good things came out of Brussels, the so-called thematic strategy on pesticides, which threatens to remove up to 30% of pesticides from the market, was not one of them.

“We are putting a serious resource into fighting this threat, the severity of which cannot be underestimated,” said Mr Kendall.

“If we are going to meet the challenge of producing more food, then this is going to be critical.”

Critical decisions

The NFU has called on all EU member states to think long and hard about the impact a poor compromise deal on pesticide authorisations could have on Europe’s farmers and growers.

The call comes as critical decisions could be taken by MEPs this week on the basis of a new Slovenian Presidency compromise on the conditions that would lead to the prohibition of certain pesticides from the market.

Mr Kendall said: “In recent weeks I have written formally to Commissioners Vassiliou and Fischer-Boel warning of the dire consequences on a bad deal on pesticides.

“Although the latest compromise text for member states to discuss recognises the essential nature of some substances, we still have very grave fears the cut-off criteria set out in the document could still lead to a substantial loss of necessary crop protection products and a consequent reduction in food production.

“We are also urging all members states to carry out their own full impact assessments on the proposals which should help to convince MEPs the position they took at the first plenary vote last October would greatly reduce food production at a time when exactly the opposite is needed.”

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