"The European Commission's proposal of prohibiting the use of plant protection products on ecological focus areas is not environmentally-sound", said Albert Deß MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman in the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, regretting the result of today’s vote.
Although the majority of the parliament, 363 members, was in favour of the objection (267 against), it wasn't enough as a total of 374 votes would have been needed to reject the Commission's proposal.
"With its proposal on the delegated act, the Commission is endangering the EU’s GMO-free protein cultivation and the associated EU protein strategy. As a result, the necessary feed must be imported from South America", said Deß. He recalled that the yields per hectare in South America are lower than in the EU. This means that for 1.2 million tonnes of protein feed, about 450,000 hectares are needed instead of 300,000 European hectares. To cultivate this import, plant protection products would be applied and the crops would not be GMO-free. This leads to the exact opposite of what the Commission proposed. The replacement of protein crops cultivated in European EFA areas by import from South America would consume 44.6 million litres of oil in transport leaving a huge carbon footprint.
"Furthermore, bundling 14 individual parts into one delegated act deprives the European Parliament of its right of scrutiny on individual parts. It is highly regrettable that with this proposal, the Commission made political decisions that should not be taken through a delegated act. We expect the Commission to step forward in future with individual proposals of delegated acts in order to protect our environment and to maintain our agricultural production in Europe", Deß concluded.