EU organic farming rules "good starting point"

SNP MEP and member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee Alyn Smith has welcomed the presentation of new proposals on organic farming in the EU.

Alyn said:

"These proposals are a good starting point but need some work before I'll be happy to sign them off.

"Consumers should be confident that, if they buy an EU organic-labelled product, farmers have not used pesticides and that the product is free from contamination. EU rules must guarantee this but should not be suffocating for our smaller, local producers who are the essence of the organic system.

"The proposals must also be adapted in order to ensure that there are allowances for farmers in those member states or regions where there is not a ready supply of organically-bred seeds. Their products should be allowed to qualify for the organic label as long as they follow all the other agro-ecological and agronomic principles. In some regions organic breeding for some plant species is lagging and the regulation needs to make space for seeds adapted to local conditions.

"With demand for organic products increasing four fold in ten years, we need EU rules fit for purpose and while these are a good start, I want to see some tidying up before they become law."