Fears as pesticide plan gets second reading

Industry bodies are stepping up activity as the second reading of controversial European Union proposals to limit the use of plant protection products draws near.

The European Parliament's committee for the environment, public health and food safety is likely to give the proposals their second reading early next month. The proposals relate to the replacement of the Plant Protection Products Directive 91/414, part of the wider EU Thematic Strategy for Pesticides.

The committee will vote on the plans, which the UK's Pesticides Safety Directorate believes could remove up to 85 per cent of current products, in early November. Members of the European Parliament will then hold their final vote in December or January.

In a special report in this week's edition of Horticulture Week published today (HW, 25/9/08) horticulture professionals tell us how they believe they could be affected by the proposed changes.

The HTA is urging growers of ornamental plants to lobby MEPs on the upcoming vote via a template letter on its website, where information prepared by consultant John Adlam covering products affected is also available.

The NFU, which has been lobbying hard in Brussels throughout the summer, is asking its members to begin writing to MEPs closer to the final parliamentary vote, and will launch its final push of members early next month.

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