The changing regulation of plant protection products from a risk based system to hazard based, reduces the chemistry available to growers. It would appear that a number of other factors are influencing the approvals and renewal process and sound science has less of an impact.
|Reduction of active ingredients over since 2000|
Plant protection products, in Europe, are already among the most closely regulated in the world and have a part to play in modern food production.
- With more restrictions on the horizon many will say the registration and renewal process that governs plant protection products is flawed. This process says most sprays are hazardous and should be restricted.
- Less plant protection will be available to growers and this will have a negative impact on efficient food production.
- Agricultural investment and innovation will be stifled in over regulated European economies driving investment to other parts of the world.
Some commentators have stated that such an 'evolving regulation system' offers a high level of protection for human and animal health. It is the 'intensive use of pesticides that is undermining our ecosystems' and support for this report is 'scaremongering' and 'crying wolf'.
We need to pay more attention to the planets growing population - as a species we continually ignore unsustainable population growth and the pressure it places on the world's limited resources. This human expansion, increases the need for more efficient food production. This is also an issue in England, as shown below.
We recognise the need to develop food production systems that impact less on our soils, water and air whilst still producing sufficient food. Such systems are advocated by LEAF's Integrated Farm Management and our own 'Allerton Approach'. Remember growing food under any system will impact on the environment. Our own government also have a responsibility to keep a productive and competitive UK agricultural sector, growing food from our fields for our consumers. Increasing imported food also has an environmental footprint.
Recent trends would suggest a yield plateau, the reasons are numerous and a subject for discussion on their own.
The elephant in the room of 'population growth',... who would like to continue that debate?