The UK government opposes the European Parliament decision to ban 22 pesticide treatments used widely among British farmer.
The Green Party celebrated the European Parliaments sweeping majority vote and says that the ban will limit spraying of crops near school and hospitals thought to be carcinogenic.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) supports the UK’s opposition to the legislation and says that the ban will cause failing productivity and could even wipe out harvests of winter vegetables such as carrots and parsnips.
Certification charity of organic products, The Soil Association, says suggestions of the ban causing failing productivity are nonsense. It says research from Reading University suggests that under organic production techniques yield could actually improve.
Plant Health Advisor to the NFU, Paul Charles, says the fear of winter harvests being wiped out is backed by government figures. He says as the world’s food demand continues to rise rapidly placing pressure on agricultural land. He says this land pressure indirectly contributes to unsustainable farming techniques and deforestation. He also says that the only way to increase food production for the future is to improve productivity.
If passed by the European Council the new legislative ban will start next year coming into full effect in 2013.
The UK government announced plans for a new national research center for food and the environment to better integrate food, farming and environmental research programmes and to publish a new Green Farming Guide.