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MEPs prune changes to plant health proposals

The European Parliament has voted through amendments to improve the efficiency of EU plant health rules, but has rejected a bid by its Agriculture Committee for a complete overhaul. The European Commission’s planned revision of the rules 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). The full Parliament sided with the Commission’s plan to keep the “blacklist” of plants and plant products from certain countries or regions that cannot be imported. The Agriculture Committee wanted to replace this with a system only allowing imports from a “positive list” of countries and products that pose an unacceptable danger to EU agriculture (Agrow No 683, p 13). Other MEPs decided that this would breach international trading rules.

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