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Jun. 18, 2008

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Jun. 18, 2008
New legislation proposed by the EU Commission could remove 85% of the ag-chems currently registered in the UK, according to FarmingUK.
Scheduled to be implemented in late 2009, the laws could lead to "food shortages, soaring food prices and a reliance on imported produce, while the environment would come under threat from changing cropping regimes," the web site wrote.
These were the key messages coming from a British Crop Production Council Food Chain Forum held in London recently. According to James Clarke, Science and Business development manager, ADAS, the proposals would, at best, cause a 25% drop in crop production in the UK in just three to five years following implementation. At worst, they could result in a minimum 53% drop in overall crop production.
"Disease control would be the major problem on all crops," said Clarke. "We would see major disease problems in the potato crop in terms of blight control, while the threat from Septoria in wheat, in addition to weeds, would be the major drivers in terms of yield loss there."
He added that the UK "would have to see crop price rises between 30%-120% in wheat, 49%-100% in potatoes and over 300% in brassicas if a collapse in growers' gross margins was to be avoided."
David Richardson, Senior Agronomist at the Pesticide Safety Directorate (PSD), said that the current EU Parliament proposals could lead to the removal of up to 66% of insecticides, up to 49% of fungicides, and up to 33% of herbicides.
Dominic Dyer, Chief Executive of the Crop Protection Association (CPA) said the legislation would increase European food prices and reduce quality, and could lead to more food of questionable quality being imported from outside the EU.
Dyer highlighted June 19 and 20 as key dates in the process. "European leaders are gathering for a Council of Ministers meeting, and if the BCPC can get the right messages across, it could go a long way towards seeing the proposals taken off the Commission's agenda."
Source: FarmingUK

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