Death of carrot greatly exaggerated

Western Morning News letter

Published October 27 2014

The European Union has no intention of causing the demise of the British apple or carrot, as claimed by the latest report from the pesticides industry, and reported in the WMN (Farm chemical restrictions put food at risk).

Since there are as yet no specific proposals to remove further pesticides from use, this report takes the idea of getting your retaliation in first into the realms of absurdity. Politicians like myself should be free to make decisions in the best interests of the people who elect us and should not be subjected to this sort of hysterical lobbying by those employed to generate profits for their shareholders.

The industry previously tried to block the banning of neonicotinoid pesticides which have been shown to be associated with declines in bee populations. But agricultural pesticides also have another connection with birds and bees since they can disrupt human and animal hormone systems leading to both infertility and congenital birth defects. Although the report claims to be independent, it is funded by the NFU and a AIC (the Agricultural Industries Confederation). Anderson’s the consultancy which produced the report has worked for an agribusinesses.

The death of the British carrot was already falsely predicted by similar lobbyists in 2009 when new EU regulations were introduced. By making such sweeping claims the agribusiness sector continues to undermine its credibility and to place itself in opposition not only to European citizens but also to the farmers who suffer most from the diseases caused by the most toxic agricultural chemicals.

By Molly Scott Cato

Green MEP for South West England

Member of the European Parliament Agriculture Committee