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European Crop Protection: Failure To Reach Consensus On Important Pesticides In EU Committee Vote

BRUSSELS, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

ECPA recommends proportionate, evidence-based approach, as Standing Committee delivers 'no opinion' on neonicotinoids

Member States have failed to reach a qualified majority in a vote potentially leading to a ban on the use of neonicotinoid based pesticides on crops attractive to bees. The European Commission's Appeal Committee will now decide the fate of this important agricultural technology.

Friedhelm Schmider Director General of the European Crop Protection Association commenting after the Standing Committee on the food chain and animal health (SCFCAH) vote:

"ECPA would like to highlight that the proposal to ban neonicotinoids did not receive a qualified majority at the Standing Committee. This shows that Member States are doubtful about the proportionality of the measures proposed by the Commission. The measures would clearly have an impact on expected yield, economic growth and jobs with no improvement on bee health."

"Secondly Member States are aware that scientific evidence from countries where realistic field monitoring was done and risk mitigation measures are implemented showed that neonicotinoids can be safely used without unacceptable effects on bee colonies. The bee health decline is a multifactor problem as recently confirmed by scientists where pesticides are the last of their concerns." [1]

"We fully understand and support concerns over bee health and need to ensure that pesticides do not have any negative impact on them, we believe that the current review process was seriously flawed and that no suspension should have taken effect on this basis."

The current process and the Commission's proposal would have set a very negative precedence in the application of the legal framework set out in Regulation 1107/2009, and contravenes the principles of predictability, consistency proportionality and legal certainty.

" Therefore as an industry we would suggest  going  for a more risk based  approach that  would include further risk mitigation measures and implementation of a comprehensive monitoring to ra tify the safety of the p roducts, as data from certain Member States '  monitoring has already indicated. This would require a full review of all the available monitoring data "  - Friedhelm Schmider continued.

In the meantime, the crop protection industry is willing to collaborate with EU and national authorities to address all the perceived data gaps as well as to continue our investment in stewardship measures to protect pollinators.

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