NFU Scotland’s Cereals Policy Manager, Peter Loggie and Peter Thompson, a fruit farmer from Blairgowrie and Chairman of NFU Scotland’s Soft Fruit and Field Vegetable Committee, are winding up their trip to the European Parliament in a final attempt to amend flawed EU proposals on plant protection products, which could seriously harm Scotland’s ability to produce its own food.
The duo have spent the last two days meeting MEPs from a number of parties and Member States, as well as representatives of other EU farming unions, and encouraged them to support amendments which could mitigate some of the worst effects of the legislation, which would ban or nominate for substitution vital pesticides, fungicides and insecticides, which are perfectly safe if regulated and used with care, as is currently the case.
The deadline for amendments was midday today and it is expected that MEPs will vote on the text next Tuesday, 13 January.
Speaking from Brussels, Peter Loggie said:
“It has been an uphill struggle to say the least. Many MEPs are put off by the complexity of the proposals and the debate has, up until this point, been dominated by emotion and not by scientific fact, which is very frustrating. Now that the legislation has reached the closing stages it appears there is reduced appetite for reopening issues which have been previously discussed.
“We have had some useful meetings, however, and the opportunity to meet with the MEPs has been invaluable as not everyone has made their mind up yet. We believe that the MEPs we have met have taken our arguments on board.
“The European Parliament has not yet confirmed whether MEPs will have an opportunity to vote for individual amendments, such as those we have submitted or whether they will only be allowed to adopt or reject the text as a whole. If that is the case, we have recommended that they reject the whole text.”
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