ECPA urges Agriculture Council to leave farmers the tools they need to protect their crops

Brussels, 19 December – Following the meetings of the Agriculture Council on 17-19 December, the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) today restated that unless the Agriculture
Council amends the existing draft Regulation for placing pesticides on the market, farmers will be left with few solutions for protecting important crops.

ECPA urges the Council to decide against hazard-based criteria, as proposed by the European Parliament in October, which could lead to a loss of 80% of insecticides and 70% of fungicides,
severely reducing the tools for sustainable plant protection in Europe. In many cases, farmers will lose their last lines of defence against pests and disease which is ultimately to the
detriment of European consumers.
Higher food prices at the supermarket will be the result of rising production costs on the farm. ECPA’s Regulatory Affairs Director, Euros Jones, added: «Our ability to provide
affordable, fresh fruit and vegetables to European consumers is being threatened at a time when obesity, heart disease and diabetes are at all-time highs. The EU should aim to establish
consistent policies, whereby they commit substantial resources to the promotion of a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables, and at the same time ensure that these fruit and vegetables do
not turn into luxury items.«
Jones continued: «European consumers increasingly say that they want to buy locally produced food. But with such a loss of plant protection solutions in the EU, the more likely scenario
is that imported food will replace home-grown food. Take olives as an example: Olives and olive oil are typically European, but decreasing the already limited number of pesticides available to
protect them will make olive farming in most parts of Europe economically and environmentally unsustainable.«

ECPA will closely follow and continue to actively contribute to the EU process.

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