FPC joins groups calling on European Parliament to relax pesticide proposals

The Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) has warned that home-grown strawberries could be in short supply at Wimbledon in future years - and Britain could face Christmas dinners without sprouts from Brussels - if the European Parliament's stringent pesticide proposals are made law (HW, 26 June).

The trade association has joined the NFU and the British Crop Protection Council in speaking out against the proposals, which are set to be voted on this autumn.

The proposals call for a hazard-based approach to pesticide approval - meaning that if there is any sort of hazard associated with a product, no matter how small, it should be banned.

Analysis by the UK's Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD) revealed that, if these proposals become law, they could lead to up to 85 per cent of crop protection products being taken off the shelves.

Vegetable growers and strawberry growers would be among the worst hit, the PSD predicted, as it would outlaw most of the fungicides and herbicides they use.

FPC chief executive Nigel Jenney said: "Only the UK Government has realised that it will become uneconomic to grow some of our best-loved fruit and vegetables in this country under these proposals.

"We want the European Parliament to wake up to the implications and to carry out a thorough impact assessment before consigning scientifically proven good horticultural practices to the waste bin."

FPC is calling on the European Parliament to retain a range of products that allows UK horticulture to produce good-quality healthy produce in a sustainable manner.

Jenney added: "The failure of the EU to take this responsible attitude would undermine sustainable long-term production in the UK."


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