Brussels in brief

European Parliament reject Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation (SUR)

The European Parliament has formally rejected the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on the sustainable use of plant protection products. The SUR proposal aimed to cut the use and risk of pesticides by 50% by 2030, as set out in the EU’s flagship Farm to Fork strategy.

The Council is still discussing its own position on the SUR and several member states are known to have reservations, which are now likely to be reinforced by the Parliament’s rejection. If the Council does eventually agree a mandate, this will be considered by the Parliament, but MEPs are under no obligation to accept it. However, if the Council agrees with the European Parliament’s, the proposal will be definitively rejected.

In short, it seems highly unlikely that the proposal will be adopted ahead of the European elections and new Commission in mid-2024.

AI housing order introduced in the Netherlands

A mandatory, national housing order has been introduced in the Netherlands following two cases of highly pathogenic avian flu. Housing orders have been in place since 14 November. Outbreaks have also been reported in Bulgaria (1 case), Denmark (1 case), Hungary (3 cases) and Italy (1 case). Please note, this information was received on 24 November.

Italy bans cell-based meat due to serious health concerns

Italy has become the first country to issue a ban on the production, marketing, and import of synthetic meat products after studies claim that lab-grown fake meat products cause turbo cancers in humans. Meanwhile EFSA is expecting Germany to submit the first EU assessment for lab-grown products imminently.