The UK is committed to scientific evidence in the face of potentially damaging European legislation. That was the message from Kathleen Kelliher of Defra when she addressed the UK Onion & Carrot Conference on Wednesday 4 October.
“Most of these decisions are made in Brussels and while Defra uses science-based decision making, sadly we cannot promise that decisions on future EU approvals will be based on sound science, because in some cases the current EU criteria are not scientific,” she said.
“The UK has arguably been the leading member state in pressing for science-based regulation of these chemicals. Our calls for an impact assessment have at last been heeded by the Commission.
“Defra supports regulation to protect people and the environment from adverse effects from pesticides; however it is right for all of use to be aware of the costs and benefits of regulation. We agree that the EU regime has features that carry very significant cost for limited benefits.
“We think [potential pesticides] should be assessed by a proper risk assessment,” she added.