MEPs vote to restrict the use of pesticides

Farmers could be banned from the aerial spraying of pesticides, if planned legislation is approved by the EU. The European Parliament has voted in favour of a package aimed at modernising the law on plant protection products, which will require Ireland to set up a national action plan for reducing pesticide use.  The proposals include a measure to ban or restrict the use of pesticides in public areas like parks, playing pitches and golf courses. It also includes a ban on pesticides within a buffer zone around water courses such as rivers and lakes. However MEPs rejected the idea of a ten metre buffer zone, and agreed instead to let each member state decide on a specific width. Independent MEP Marian Harkin said, ‘A ten metre buffer zone is a one size fits all solution, which needs to be modified so that each country can take local conditions into consideration. Not even the European Parliament can legislate for climate and soil variations throughout the continent.’