Industry steps up action to persuade MEPs to help prevent EU pesticides ban

Trade bodies are pushing ahead with campaigns to persuade MEPs to stop the EU from banning pesticides.

The HTA, CPA and NFU are campaigning against the draft EU regulation about the placing of plant protection products on the market, which replaces regulation 91/414.

HTA business development director Tim Briercliffe said: "It's important we attack MEPs in advance of the vote. We need to really go for it.

"Defra is supportive of us but only some UK MEPs are sympathetic and we need to influence other countries' MEPs through the European Nurserymen's Association and get an environmental impact study done. The impact of this legislation is too nasty to contemplate. I'm particularly scared of vine weevils' impact. And if we're left with just a handful of products that will create resistance and superbugs."

Scotts representative John Clowes said the company could lose all but one of its mainstreamproducts.

Westland technical director Dr Jamie Robinson said: "This legislation is going to devastate the gardener. And it would make European agriculture unmanageable."

The NFU has also launched an online campaign aiming to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the EU pesticide review and has joined with other stakeholders in co-signing a letter to prime minister Gordon Brown, urging the Government to ensure the proposals do not reduce edible crop producers' ability to produce food for the nation. See www.nfuonline.com.

- For more information see next week's Grower section

KEY DATES
6 October: First discussion for EU environment committee
5 November: Vote
17 December: Plenary


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