In a letter to EU health commissioner Androulla Vassiliou they express their “deep concern” over the draft regulation (pdf), and request that a full assessment should be carried out to assess the socio-economic impact on the arable sectors of all 27 member states.
“[We are] sure you will agree that we cannot, as parliamentarians, take any decisions on such a definitive regulation unless we are fully aware of the likely impact it will have on food production and jobs within the Community,” the letter says.
The MEPs also question the justification of moving from the current risk-based approach to pesticides approval to a hazard-based system, suggesting “there is no substantive scientific evidence to justify this”.
A pesticides ban would result in a 30% drop in cereal yields precisely at the time we are facing a food crisis and a shortage of basic cereals, the MEPs add, rendering the growing of such crops “uneconomic.”
In addition the ban would place consumer health at risk, they allege, increasing the risk of “toxic, carcinogenic mycotoxins” in food and suggest Scotland’s farmers will not be able to “continue to grow the range of cereals, potatoes, fruits and vegetables, in the wake of such a ban”.