Hogan calls for realistic Nitrates review
A COMMON-sense approach to the review of the Nitrates Directive has been demanded by Fine Gael environment spokesman Phil Hogan TD.
Deputy Hogan said changes to the directive should be based on science rather than ideology and must take account of the concerns of commercial farmers.
He called on the Minister for the Environment John Gormley and the Fianna Fáil/Green Government to adopt a "proportionate response" to the review process.
"In particular, the Minister for the Environment should heed the scientific proposals and recommendations that have been put forward by Teagasc, which will implement a regime that will meet the EU Nitrates Directive criteria," Deputy Hogan said.
"It is essential that the balanced proposals put forward by Teagasc, which has compiled this research in respect of the application of the EU Nitrates Directive, are taken on board.
"I call on the Fianna Fáil ministers to ensure that a common-sense approach to the implementation of the Nitrates Directive is adopted, and to prevent Minister Gormley from adopting yet another ideological and unreasonable set of proposals."
Meanwhile, Fine Gael agriculture spokesman, Andrew Doyle has expressed serious concerns that the malting barley industry could be severely damaged by nitrates regulations.
Deputy Doyle said malting barley producers were struggling to maintain high protein levels in their crops because of restrictions on fertiliser usage.