East Devon Euro MP hits out at bid to ban light bulbs

PUBLISHED: 12:39 23 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:32 10 June 2010

THE European Parliament s powerful Environment Committee has backed the banning of incandescent light bulbs - but East Devon s Giles Chichester has warned that it s too soon.

THE European Parliament's powerful Environment Committee has backed the banning of 'incandescent' light bulbs - but former chairman, East Devon's Giles Chichester has warned that 'it's too soon.'

South West Euro MP, and former chairman of the EU Energy Committee Conservative Giles Chichester of West Hill, says that it is now up to the Government to decide when the ban should be introduced.

Throughout war, disaster and recession, the traditional incandescent' light bulbs has kept Britain illuminated for more than 120 years.

But at the end of last year some retailers stopped replenishing stocks of the conventional 100watt bulbs in a voluntary withdrawal - part of a campaign to force people into buying low-energy fluorescent bulbs.

However the moves angered medical charities who say the low-energy alternatives can trigger a host of ailments, including migraines, epilepsy and skin rashes

Mr Chichester said: "I feel it is too soon to make such a decision.

"I am concerned that the technology used in the manufacture of fluorescent energy saving light bulbs is still at an early stage.

"There is evidence that the flicker rate of these bulbs has an adverse effect on medical conditions such as migraine, autism and epilepsy: also, that these bulbs are expensive and current light fittings and switches are not always compatible.

"Before introducing a blanket ban on the use of incandescent light bulbs, we should first concentrate on developing a well researched, energy saving alternative.

"There is no doubt that energy saving fluorescent light bulbs are better for the environment but we need to be certain that they do not have adverse effects on health and the economy."

John Kelly, the spokesman for UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party reiterated the line of party leader Nigel Farage: "They've banned the incandescent light bulb and are forcing us to use ones that contain poisonous mercury instead. Then they have the effrontery to charge 60 per cent import duties on these dim bulbs.

"It really is time to leave the European Union, so that we can make our own decisions for ourselves, ones that benefit us rather than following the crazed diktats of a foreign bureaucracy."

For further information contact Press Officer, Tom Maughan

(Tel: 01803 865175 Email: tommaughan@southdevon.org)

Conservatives in the European Parliament

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