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Agric MEPs seek overhaul of plant health proposals

The European Parliament's Agriculture Committee has voted in favour of extensive amendments to the European Commission's proposed revision of EU plant health rules. The revision aims to combat the increase in new plant pests due to climate change and globalisation of trade, and is part of a package of proposals covering seeds and animal health (Agrow No 664, p 8). But the MEPs want a "complete overhaul" of the current approach to make preventive measures against plant pests more effective. Instead of the Commission's plan to keep the "black list" of plants and plant products from certain countries or regions, the Committee wants to establish a positive list of countries and products that do not pose an unacceptable danger to EU agriculture and can be imported. Countries wishing to export plants to the EU would have to submit a request to the Commission. The Committee's opinion goes forward for a vote by the full Parliament in either March or April.

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