Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher has questioned the EU commissioner for food safety on the lack of impact assessments regarding the Farm to Fork and the EU Biodiversity Strategy.

MEP Kelleher raised concerns that impact assessments on how the strategies may affect food quality, food safety and agricultural productivity will not be published soon.

The MEP, who is also a member of the Environment, Climate Change and Public Health Committee of the European Parliament, said:

“We need to know what impact these strategies will have on European food production. If they result in lower yields, prices for consumers will rise – adding further fuel to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.”

The MEP questioned EU Commissioner for Public Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides on the matter in the European Parliament in Strasbourg last night (Monday, June 6).

Commissioner Kyriakides confirmed to MEP Kelleher that impact assessments will not be published until the end of this year.

The MEP considered the commissioner’s response “disappointing”, saying that, as a legislator, he should be provided with all the necessary information.

Pesticides and fertiliser

The MEP also addressed the targets to reduce pesticide and fertiliser use under the Farm to Fork and the EU Biodiversity Strategy.

“There must also be full disclosure on whether there are alternative options available right now for farmers to replace their existing use of pesticides and fertilisers.

“I support the overall ambition to reduce pesticide and chemical fertiliser use in European agriculture. It is always better and safer for us all to be using less synthetic products when producing food for human consumption,” the MEP said.

However, he explained, the ongoing war in Ukraine has shown the importance of food security and how food inflation can put families under serious financial pressure.

He added that he has an obligation to citizens to ensure continued access to affordable food.