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SOURCE The European Crop Protection Association (ECPA)
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."
"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 suggestgoingfor a more risk basedapproach thatwould include further risk mitigation measuresand implementation of a comprehensive monitoring to ratify the safety of the products, 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.
"We will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders to understand and develop solutions to the bee health problem" - Friedhelm Schmider concluded.
Neonicotinoids helps to save up to 40% of the yield of important European crops (corn, winter wheat, rape seed, sugar beet, sunflower), hence making a very efficient use of land and water.
If this key technology is no longer available a potential impact for major crops, such as maize, rapeseed and sunflower will reach more than 8 million hectares.
A Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture report highlights that if neonicotinoid seed treatments were no longer available, impact on the EU economy could be as great as €4.5 billion with a loss of at least 50,000 farm jobs across the EU. Over a 5-year period, the EU could lose up to €17 billion and face a significant increase in pest pressure.
Neonicotinoid is an essential innovative tool for farmers, without which crops would be unprofitable (e.g. corn) or unfeasible (e.g. rape seed), due to its importance in managing systemic pests (e.g. rape flea beetle). Further information on the value of neonicotinoids can be found at http://www.neonicreport.com