Posts Tagged ‘countryside’

Farmers Weekly SOS

1 August, 2008

“Save Our Sprays” – the plea from Farmers Weekly Magazine. Are they serious? Do the multinational chemical companies actually need a helping hand to fight against EU pesticide reform?

Poor old Monsanto and friends! In fact this review of harmful substances has been on the cards for a long time, so this latest bandwagonning seems rather desperate.

FW make big hypothetical statements “…the EU Commission could wipe out 80% of pesticides…” but other bodies reckon a 15% deselection of the most harmful compounds is more likely, leaving farmers with a considerable arsenal of poisons if they wish to use them. (UK agency the PSD made estimates ranging from 15% to 85%.)

But why the campaign to continue spraying a cocktail of biocides on our food, polluting people, water and soils? The Daily Mail recently quoted Prof Vyvyan Howard, toxico-pathologist at the University of Ulster, and a member of the Government’s Advisory Committee on Pesticides, who said, ‘It has been my position for many years that a precautionary reduction in the levels of the most hazardous pesticides by substitution makes good sense.’

Pesticides that could be banned include a family of fungicides used on cereals called triazoles thought to be hormone disrupters, a potato fungicide mancozeb linked to cancer, and the insecticide family of pyrethroids – which can affect the human nervous system.

Pesticides are a sort of addiction for the ‘modern farmer’ – a habit pushed by the chemical companies who sell them fertilisers too. Actually chemical fertilisers nowadays seem to be less and less economical and sustainable because they use so much fossil fuel. And their effect is often fast, sappy growth, making crops more vulnerable to attack from pests… which forces farmers to resort to pesticides as a matter of course.

If you would rather choose an organic future, take a look at our website and online shop.

READING AROUND…
> an interesting discussion about this recently on Radio 4.
> Blog site ‘Not Delia’ discusses the SOS campiagn

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