EU step closer to new plant health rules
Long-running discussions over revisions to EU plant health rules are a step closer to completion after a deal was reached by the member states’ Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper). The European Commission aims to combat the increase in new plant pests due to climate change and globalisation of trade, but was criticised for the potential impact on farmers and the planned changes on import controls. The latest compromise would see certain plant imports banned if a preliminary risk assessment identified the spread of a pest that could not be controlled with available measures. The proposals can go forward for negotiations between EU Ministers and the European Parliament. The plant health revisions are part of a package of proposals dating from 2013 that include seed and animal health. The Parliament rejected the seed proposals in 2014.