Food prices will rise thanks to European Parliament pesticides ban

Conservatives call on the government to stage last-ditch attempt to save our sprays

Strasbourg, 13th January 2009 – The European Parliament has voted to ban a large number of the plant protection products available to British producers, despite a concerted effort by Conservative MEPs to restore some balance and proportionality to the plans.

Sir Robert Atkins MEP, has warned the parliament’s overzealous approach will take a vast number of products off the market. The ban will reduce yields of a number of foods including carrots, cereals, potatoes, onions and parsnips, whilst pushing up prices for consumers.

Conservative efforts to reject a deal agreed by the parliament and the council of ministers did not achieve the 393 votes required. Yesterday, a Conservative amendment calling for a full impact assessment on the plans was rejected by the parliament’s services.

Now, the plans could only be stopped by a last-ditch effort by the British government, although over the last several months they have failed to back up their platitudinous opposition with action.

Sir Robert said:

“This law will drive up the cost of the weekly food shop at the worst time for British families.

“We do need strong restrictions on pesticide use but it should be based on sound science, rather than on the whim of politicians. There has been no balance whatsoever in the parliament’s position. MEPs have failed to see pesticides as necessary tools in maintaining our crops.

“Many of the products on the market today are safe when used correctly, and have been around for years. Without crop protection products, our food supplies will be volatile at a time when food security is rising up the political agenda.

“The Labour government has expressed platitudinous concern about this directive, but it has failed to put the case nearly as strongly as it should have.

“It is ludicrous that such a plan would be brought into law without an impact assessment to gauge its consequences. The only hope we have is for a last-ditch effort by the government to demand we finally get an overall picture of how food production will be affected across the EU.”

Top ↑