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Bayer CropScience Managing Director calls for better regulation at European Liberal Democrat conference in London (press release)

Cambridge: 29th November 2013: Andrew Orme, Managing Director of Bayer CropScience in the UK today called for “a predictable and sustainable regulatory framework for agriculture in the European Union avoiding non-science based, knee jerk reactions that will only continue to discourage investment in European focussed research.”

Mr Orme was talking at a meeting on Regulation and Competitiveness, within the framework of the ALDE Party Congress alongside a vice-President of the European Commission Olli Rehn,  President of the Board of Swedish Industry and Commerce for Better Regulation Jens Hedström, and MEP Phil Bennion, moderated by MEP Alexander Graf Lambsdorff. He presented a 3-point plan for better regulation in agriculture at a European level:

 

  1. Europe has a collective interest in having clear transparent processes and decision making. We need regulation, but we need regulation which is informed by science to promote innovation and growth rather than stifling it for no good reason.
  2. Europe needs to have a balanced regulatory environment, where the impact of regulations is properly understood prior to implementation.
  3. Europe must stop looking inwards. We are in a global society; a society which, by enlarge, understands the problems amassing. It really is time that the EU joined in and saw the political opportunities that arise from this, rather than closing our eyes and hoping that the problem will go away.

 

Mr Orme refered to a study, from agribusiness consultants PhillipsMcDougall, when pointing out that the agrochemical industry as a whole spends $6.5billion every year on researching and developing new products, but that the proportion that is spent specifically for European markets has dropped from over 30% of total in the 1990s to less than 7% today.

As Mr Orme pointed out: “Three of the six major companies involved are based in Europe. It is a testament to the disabling nature of European regulations that the money is not being spent to help European farmers, but on helping farmers elsewhere in the world.”

Responding to a question from the floor Mr Orme also refered to the recent Humboldt report that suggests a 1% increase in EU agricultural productivity across the board would feed an extra 10 million people a year. He concluded: “The suggestion that modern, sustainable productive agriculture is not important in Europe just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. The Humboldt study 'The social, economic and environmental value of agricultural productivity in the European Union' can be found at http://hffa.info/index.php/resources/download-publications/publications/working-paper-5.html
  2. More information on the PhillipsMcDougall study can be found at http://www.ecpa.eu/news-item/agriculture-today/10-02-2013/794/crop-protection-rd-declining-europe-new-study-shows

About Bayer CropScience

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care,

agriculture and high-tech materials. This year the company looks back on 150 years of working to fulfill its mission “Bayer: Science For A Better Life.” Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 8,383 million (2012) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 20,800 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.

 

Contact:

Julian Little, Tel. +44 1223 226606

E-Mail: julian.little@bayer.com