The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and Crop Protection Association (CPA) have expressed concern over the European Parliament's vote to approve stricter controls on pesticide use, which took place on Wednesday. The associations have vowed to continue campaigning against the legislation.
The HTA said major issues such as the reduction in time allowed for substitution, the technical criteria for registration and the need for an impact assessment, for which the organisation has been campaigning, were not addressed. However, the HTA and the CPA said that support for the industry's concerns was building and responses to association members' letters to MEPs had been encouraging.
The HTA has said the legislation will have a devastating impact on the horticultural trade and the CPA claims that 85 per cent of conventional ingredients used in the horticultural industry could be lost if it is put through without amendments.
Manufacturers have also spoken out against the proposals; according to Horticulture Week Scotts Miracle-Gro has said it could lose most of its weed control products and Westland has said it could lose its best-selling product Resolva. The magazine estimated that total UK retail losses resulting from the European Parliament's proposals could amount to £100 million.
Meanwhile, the Soil Association has applauded moves by the European Parliament to ban pesticides that kill bees and has called for the UK Government to follow suit. The association said some opposition to what it called modest safeguards had been ridiculous and entreated the government to put public safety and wildlife above the concerns of a small sector of the chemical industry.
The European Parliament Environment Committee will cast a plenary vote on Amendment 293 in December or January.