Government Position

European & UK Government: oilseed rape cultivation

For statements/communications made by the European and UK Governments’, refer to the EC and UK pages.

From the statement made by the European Commision in 2002, it is clear that the Commission does accept that there

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is scientific evidence that supports the view that oilseed rape crops do present serious health problems for those who live in close proximity to the crop. The Commission also accepts that the scientists have not reached agreement about the causal factors responsible for oilseed rape allergy syndrome.

It is somewhat astonishing that the European Commission will not act to protect public health given the overwhelming scientific evidence of harm presented to date.  I would take the opportunity to remind European Ministers of their duty to protect public health until such times that oilseed rape crops are proven beyond reasonable doubt to be harmless to human health (adults, children, elderly and the disabled within our rural communities).

As I understand, the Human Rights Act 1998 gives everyone the absolute right to breath fresh, unpolluted, non-immunotoxic and uncontaminated air.

This right is also protected under the Precautionary Principle legal framework introduced by the European Commission to ensure that public health is put before commercial gain.  Only industrial practices (this includes agricultural and biotech industries) that have been subjected to rigorous scientific and holistic evaluation and proven beyond reasonable doubt to be harmless to human health, can be allowed to be introduced into the environment.  If a product/process is found to cause harm, this may still be introduced into the evironment, but the product/process would be subject to strict control and monitoring of human health and the environment.

Author - Armitage: 2007

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