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Pesticides ban bad for the South East - Bowles

January 14, 2009 3:49 PM

Lib Dem MEP Sharon Bowles has strongly criticized a European Parliament vote on Pesticides regulation as bad for agriculture and the economy.

The proposals would ban various plant protection products that UK farmers use to prevent diseases.

Speaking from Strasbourg after the vote on the proposals, Bowles said:

"This decision is not what the South East needs, especially at this difficult economic time. These measures as they currently stand are badly drafted, and could seriously damage both arable farming and horticulture - which are of vital importance to the South East's economy.

"Many of the substances that will fall under the scope of this ban are important for maintaining an adequate array of pesticides in cases where a disease, fungus or pest develops a resistance to a product. Many producers will now be deeply worried about they will do without these substances.

"This has been a long and difficult fight, and I have been in touch with many farmers, horticulturalists and other allied professions. I have been deeply impressed by the seriousness with which they take crop safety. We in Europe have to support our agriculture industry, not undermine it."