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Farron calls for postponement of pesticide regulations

January 12, 2009 6:46 PM

Speaking before MEPS are due to vote later today on a proposal that could remove up to 23 per cent of pesticides, Shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA Tim Farron MP has called on Hilary Benn to postpone the full impact of the new environmental protection rules until the Government can ensure that suitable alternatives are made available.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"No one would underestimate the importance of regulating the use of pesticides; but these proposals go far beyond the risk based management system that has worked in the UK for many years.

"These measures will eliminate a number of key substances which will have a huge impact on the production of produce such as peas, parsnips, and onions. There are reports that carrot production could completely collapse with the potential for up to 100 per cent yield loss if these measures are introduced.

"If these measures are passed, Hilary Benn should demand that the new regulations are delayed until the Government has ensured that suitable alternatives are made available for those substances that will be banned to allow food production to be maintained."

"Only last week Hilary Benn talked about the importance of improving our food security, but without the availability of any alternatives to the banned substances, many farmers will begin the new year faced with a double whammy of rising costs and falling yields."