Industry to meet Defra over EU pesticide bans

Food, retail and farming industry bodies will meet Defra minister Phil Woolas on 9 September to discuss potential EU bans on hundreds of active pesticide ingredients.

Crop Protection Association chief executive Dominic Dyer has organised 30 industry bodies into a "food chain supply group" to oppose impending EU proposal 91/414/EEC, which could see 85 per cent of the current 286 active ingredients banned.

Dyer said groups like the Food & Drink Federation, British Retail Consortium and NFU will "engage the minister to pressurise for an impact assessment by the EC to be made available for public scrutiny before the legislation ends".

All 30 groups, including the HTA, which was not invited to meet Woolas, will meet on 8 September to take stock of the lobbying campaign and legislative timetable, and decide what to say to Woolas.

Dyer said the group was "aiming the weight of its campaign on areas of economical clout" but was "not overlooking the wider issue of forestry and ornamentals".

He added: "Because messages are going to a high political level we need to focus on key economical levels of concern - crop yields and food prices."

Scotts general manager Martin Breddy said: "We don't have direct contact with Brussels so we're going to set up a meeting with the HTA to try and get its support to encourage other member-companies to object to this going through. We believe this should be based on risk, not potential hazard."

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