At a workshop convened in Brussels and addressed by Panagiotis Theodoris of the European & Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation and Dave Chandler of the University of Warwick, members were told that the latest European Parliament environment committee amendments to the proposals for a new pesticides authorisation regulation would:
- seriously affect production of potatoes;
- result in non-recoverable losses of income for many producers of tulips and roses;
- see weed control options drop by 36 to 53 per cent, triggering a rise in prices of 13 to 30 per cent;
- see a fall in production of sugar beet;
- cause a fall in oilseed rape yield;
- lead to increased pest-resistance levels.
Meanwhile, the workshop heard that the criteria would not only affect production levels but also the market potential of produce as many crops would suffer from cosmetic damages and other factors.
The workshop leaders also warned of a serious impact on food security as the EU would have to rely more heavily on imported produce more likely to breech maximum residue limits.
MEPs present agreed on the need for a further impact assessment, risk-based criteria and more innovation in order to create a greater balance between the needs of all parties involved.