MEP Kelleher questions Food Safety Commissioner on lack of Impact Assessments into Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies

– Commissioner confirms publication will not take place until end of year –
Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher has said that he is concerned that impact assessments on the proposed Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies, in particular the targets to reduce pesticide and fertiliser use, will not be concluded and published until the end of this year.

Kelleher, a member of the Environment, Climate Change and Public Health Committee of the European Parliament, was commenting after questioning the EU Commissioner for Public Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides in the chamber last night in Strasbourg.

„These impact assessments on how the proposed changes may affect food quality, safety and crucially productivity should have been concluded earlier and published so that legislators can make informed decisions.

„I support the overall ambition to reduce pesticide and chemical fertiliser use in European agriculture. It is always better and safer for us all to be using less synthetic products when producing food for human consumption.

„However, the ongoing war in the Ukraine has shown us the importance of food security and how food inflation can put families under serious financial pressure.

„We need to know what impact these strategies will have on European food production. If it results in lower yields, prices for consumers will rise – adding further fuel to the ongoing cost of living crisis.

„There must also be full disclosure on whether there are alternative options available right now for farmers to replace their existing use of pesticides and fertilisers.

„The Commissioner’s response to me last night was disappointing. As a legislator, I should be provided with all the necessary information needed to make such a big decision. As I have said, I agree with the principle at play, but I also have an obligation to citizens to ensure that they continue to have access to affordable food,” concluded Kelleher.

Source: MEP Billy Kelleher

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