The EPP Group wants to postpone the law proposal on pesticide reduction in its current form because it will jeopardise European food production during the war in Ukraine. "When there is a war in Europe, we cannot do business as usual. The current law proposal is not fit for purpose", said Alexander Bernhuber MEP, the EPP Group's chief negotiator on pesticides.
The EPP Group firmly opposes proposals of the Green Group in the European Parliament, which are led by pure ideology as opposed to science. "Showing off with totally unrealistically high pesticides reduction targets will not lead anywhere. The Greens have no plan on what to do next. They will not make food healthier or more available, but just more expensive and more difficult to produce", stressed Bernhuber.
"The Greens are trying to criminalise pesticides. We want to reduce them without jacking up prices. We all want fewer pesticides on the table, but sometimes the best choice is not the most obvious one. If they simply ban the use of pesticides, this will result in food shortages", warned Franc Bogovič MEP, the EPP Group Spokesman on the topic in Parliament's Agriculture Committee.
Bogovič points to studies that show pesticide reduction in Europe could result in certain sectors producing up to 30 percent less food in Europe. In the worst case scenario, Europe would be producing on average 30 percent less apples and olives, 23 percent less tomatoes and 15 percent less wheat, which would have to be substituted by imports from third countries with much lower production standards compared to the EU.
"If these numbers are confirmed by the European Commission's impact assessment, which the EPP Group has been demanding, this is insanity. The pesticides law proposal was designed before the war. That is why a re-evaluation, a reassessment and an impact study are the reasonable and urgent next steps", Bernhuber and Bogovič concluded.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States