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    Plant Protection Products Debate in Final Phase
07/01/09

NFU Scotland’s efforts to stave off damaging European pesticide proposals step up another notch on Tuesday, 6 January with the arrival of a two-man delegation in Brussels.

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crop protection

The proposals have the potential to remove a significant number of widely used plant protection products from the armoury farmers need to properly protect their crops.

Throughout the two-day visit, NFU Scotland’s Specialist Crops Working Group chairman Peter Thomson and its Policy Manager Peter Loggie will be urging MEPs to adopt amendments to the proposed legislation to minimise the impact that they will have on food production in this country and throughout the EU. Amendments must be tabled by Wednesday midday with the proposals due to be discussed by the European Parliament when all MEPs attend its plenary in Strasbourg, starting on January 12.

Ahead of the visit, Peter Loggie said:

“Turning these proposals around presents a huge challenge for NFUS and our allies but we will not shirk from our responsibility to our members to drive common sense into proposals that, to date, owe more to emotion than to scientific reason.

“Last month saw a compromise paper on the proposals agreed between the Commission, the French EU presidency and European Parliament. This may have represented an improvement on previous texts but amendments to the latest version are still urgently needed if the impact is to be minimised.

“The Strasbourg vote in a week’s time could have significant implications for every Scottish farmer and grower for years to come. The purpose of this visit is to step up the pressure on all MEPs and to secure the support needed to have the necessary amendments tabled for debate at the all-important plenary session next week. Meetings with several influential MEPs from various Member States have been secured. These meetings will be crucial if wider political influence is to be had.

“The backing of Scottish MEPs throughout this debate has been most welcome. With the finishing line in sight, we need that support to continue as we spend the next few days knocking on the doors of their fellow European parliamentarians.”

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