Pesticides: science mustn't be guided by politics

In a new draft report the European People's Party group in the European Parliament insists on a science-based approach towards pesticide authorisation.

EPP MEP Norbert Lins told this website, "We need to further improve the EU authorisation procedure, even though it is already the most stringent one in the world.

"It needs to be more effective and more transparent so that it protects citizens' health, the environment and the agricultural sector in the EU", said Lins the MEP responsible for the draft Report which marks the first step of the work carried out by the Special Committee on the Authorisation Procedure for Pesticides.

The EPP Group says it is important to safeguard the value and authority of scientific institutions so that decisions are not taken based on the politics of the day and so that solutions are found for the placement of new and better-equipped products on the market. Both professionals and citizens depend on stable, legal and safe rules.

"Our role should not be inspired by ideological positions that would preclude true substantive thinking", commented Angelique Delahaye MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman in the same committee, stressing that the decision-makers must nevertheless stop opposing agriculture and environment.

"Due to a lack of usable economic and environmental alternatives, the agricultural sector as well as some others, like transport, highly depend on the use of pesticides. This is why we need to come up with alternative solutions.

"Only in this way can we achieve a more environmentally-friendly and more profitable agriculture for our farmers", she said.

Lins reiterated that one of the EPP Group’s key priorities remains making sure the authorisation procedure for plant protection products continues to be science-based and relies on independent, transparent and efficient processes.

The draft report will be voted on in December.

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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