Posted by Sam Fenny - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 16 June 2022

Brexit: Tory MPs urge government to scrap EU pesticide regulations and allow all US chemicals on food

Conservative MPs have urged the government to use its Brexit freedoms to ditch the EU’s cautious approach to making sure pesticides are safe for human consumption.

A new report authored by right-wing Tory MPs urges ministers to “peel back” the EU’s “precautionary principle” so that chemical companies can experiment, increase “yields”, and “return a profit”.

A chapter of the report, authored by MP Alexander Stafford, says the UK should automatically allow all pesticides permitted in the United States under a “mutual recognition” system.

The Rother Valley MP took issue with “the EU’s precautionary principle, which dictates that a new innovation cannot be introduced without total scientific certainty that it does not pose a danger in any way, shape or form”.

“Governments, supported by private stakeholders like those attending my APPG [all-party parliamentary groups] roundtables, need to innovate in order to decarbonise and return a profit, and they need to do it now,” he said.

It comes after The Independent reported that the government is considering using its Brexit freedoms to permit pesticides recently banned by the EU on imported food.

Brussels announced it was banning 10 pesticides on imported fruit and veg in February last year and the UK was expected to follow suit, but has not yet done so in most cases.

In the new report by the Free Market Forum group of MPs, 2019 intaker Mr Stafford argued: “I would strongly urge the government to reconsider EU regulations on pesticides and genetically modified organisms, and to push ahead in rebalancing the precautionary principle – a means of mitigating risk in innovation which the European Union has, regrettably, taken to extremes.”

He called for the scrapping of the UK’s version of EU regulation 1107/2009 on pesticides, describing it as “a classic example of red tape slowing innovation and gumming up the introduction of new pesticides”, adding: “The question of whether to repeal the regulation and build an entirely new approval process, or simply pare back some EU excesses, is another matter.

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He said it would be “straightforward” to “allow for the mutual recognition of new products developed in other well-regulated economies such as the United States”.

Mr Stafford argued that the previous approach taken by the EU was “narrow-minded” and that there could be benefits from introducing new chemicals.

The report, titled “Green Light”, was contributed to by staff at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a free-market think tank which does not reveal its funders. The Free Market Forum group describes itself as “a project of the Institute of Economic Affairs”.

Other chapters also argue in favour of more fracking, more private competition in the railways, and lifting regulations on nuclear power and artificial meat. The MPs argue that their approach could help reach net zero.

Responding to the suggestion, a spokesperson for Greenpeace UK said: “This group of Conservative MPs seem to have come up with a cunning plan: using net zero as an excuse to push the same old deregulation agenda.

“Except that their proposals are not going to fool anyone.

“Ditching rules on dangerous pesticides or pushing ahead with fracking have clearly nothing to do with meeting net-zero targets, and would achieve the opposite.

“If they genuinely want to help the UK cut its carbon emissions, they should back the proven, affordable and widely popular technologies we already have, such as renewables, and protect our food standards.”

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has been contacted for comment.

Read More: Brexit: Tory MPs urge government to scrap EU pesticide regulations


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