Pesticides Ban Could Cost UK Growers £1.6 Billion, Report Claims
Plans for further Europe-wide pesticide bans could threaten “iconic” UK crops such as apples or carrots and see food prices increase, according to a new report.
The independent study by business consultants Andersons, which was commissioned by the NFU, the Agricultural Industries Federation, and the Crop Protection Association, warns that a further 40 plant protection products (PPPs) are likely to be banned by 2020 if tougher proposed EU rules were enforced.
It claims such a move could lead to a surge in pests, causing catastrophic consequences for the production of crops such as apples, carrots, and peas. According to the ‘Healthy Harvest’ report, which has been dismissed as “hysterical” and “dangerously misleading” by conservationists, the anticipated loss of these PPPs could see the annual value of UK agriculture drop by £1.6 billion, and jeopardise up to 40,000 jobs in the wider food and drink supply chain.
Environmentalists and conservation groups have criticised the report, however, with the Green Party condemning its publication as “scare tactics”. Paul de Zylva from Friends of the Earth said: “This dangerously misleading report lacks any credible, independent and peer reviewed science. Instead of attacking regulations in place to protect our health and wildlife, we should all focus on finding alternatives to chemicals.”
Last December, the European Commission introduced a two-year EU ban on neonicotinoid insecticides containing Clothianidin, Imidacloprid, and Thiamethoxam after several scientific studies suggested their use poses an unacceptably high risk to the health of honey bees.