EU pesticides proposals passed

Legislation that will mean stricter rules on the use of pesticides throughout the European Union has been passed today (13 January).

MEPs voted for the proposed pesticides legislation in the European Parliament today.

The European Parliament passed the proposals for a Regulation on the Placing on the Market of Plant Protection Products by 577 votes for and 61 votes against.

The Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive was passed with 624 votes in favour, 13 against.

An amendment calling for an EU-wide impact assessment before the rules come into force, drafted by the HTA and CPA (Crop Protection Association) and proposed by UK MEP Robert Sturdy, was pulled from the vote late last night for procedural reasons.

Under the new Europe-wide rules, pesticide use will be either forbidden or severely reduced if close to schools, parks or near hospitals.
 
The new rules will outlaw substances that are potentially cancerous (carcinogenic), as well as ones that are harmful to human reproduction, to genes (genotoxic) or those that impact adversely on hormone production (endocrine-disrupting).

A temporary definition for endocrine-disruptors has been criticised by lobby groups, including the HTA, NFU and CPA.

The vote followed a debate in Strasbourg yesterday (12 January), after compromise was reached on the rules following weeks of trialogue discussions between representatives from the European Commission, Council and Parliament.

Irish MEP Avril Doyle said: "We are bringing EU legislation into international disrepute by a lack of good science."

German Green MEP Hiltrud Breyer said: "It is a win-win for industry because in the future there will be better and safer products."

But UK MEP Robert Sturdy disagreed: "If we are going to ban these products in the EU, what are we going to do about imports coming in?"

The rules will come into force in 2010.

See Horticulture Week magazine on 16 January for more news and analysis of the EU Pesticides legislation.


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