Another Brilliant Idea From The EU

A study released today by the European Centre for Agricultural, Regional and Environmental Policy Research (EuroCARE) concludes that new legislation being tabled in Brussels will have a profound upward effect on the prices European consumers pay for food. The legislation will drastically reduce the pest management options available to European farmers and consequently yields will drop steeply, driving up prices.

According to the research, should MEPs push ahead with the new legislation set to replace Directive 91/414/EEC*, so many critical pest management tools will be removed from use that prices for all agricultural produce are likely to increase, building on expert assessments for likely yield losses. In the worst case scenario, prices for cereals and vegetables could rise by 73% and 104% respectively. Even the most conservative product-loss scenario examined by the researchers will to lead to price increases of at least 20% for key staples such as wheat and potatoes.

With such major impacts anticipated, researchers predict that much of European agricultural production could be lost to other countries, jeopardizing the position of the European Union as a net exporter of key crops. For example, wheat production is likely to increase in USA, Mexico, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine as well as South Africa, China or Australia - as it drops in Europe.

Friedhelm Schmider, Director General, of the European Crop Protection Association, comments: "All crops need protection from disease and pests. If you remove the tools farmers use to protect their crops, yields will go down - and prices will go up. This research proves that banning pest management options will, in the end, hit consumers in the pocket."

* For the last two decades, the Authorisation Directive 91/414/EEC of 15th July 1991 has regulated the agrochemical substances that farmers use in the EU. This legislation is currently being revised in Brussels, including proposals to ban many substances currently in use.