NFU welcomes court decision to stop legal challenge on neonics authorisation

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The NFU is pleased that the High Court has cut short Friends of the Earth’s legal challenge to the Government’s neonicotinoid authorisation.

The environmental campaign group attempted to bring a legal challenge against the Government’s decision to grant the NFU’s emergency authorisations for two neonicotinoid-based plant protection products. The Court concluded today that the challenge is “unarguable on all the grounds.”

NFU Vice President Guy Smith said, “I’m extremely pleased with today’s outcome. The NFU has played an active role in this case, and we have been working hard to ensure that our members’ interests have been represented to the Court”.

“The emergency authorisation mechanism is crucial for Member States to have. The NFU has been urging governments at an EU and domestic level to look to sound science as a basis for restrictions on plant protection products as part of the Healthy Harvest campaign. Throughout the application process and in our representations in this case the NFU has sought to approach what can be a highly charged issue in a sober, balanced manner that looks after the interests of growers while respecting the needs of the wildlife that uses farm crops as habitat.”

NFU combinable crops board chairman Mike Hambly said: “The NFU has fought for many months for its members who are struggling to establish oilseed rape crops in areas of high cabbage stem flea beetle pressure. Since restrictions on neonicotinoid use were put in place in December 2013, the damage caused by this pest has been a widespread problem. The seed treatment provides an efficient and targeted solution.”

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