A study of the proposed changes to EU pesticide legislation, undertaken by the Pesticide Safety Directorate (PSD) in the UK, has concluded that they could prove devastating to the EU agricultural sector.
The EU is currently in a co-decision process as it debates on the viability of bringing pesticide use under stricter control by banning the use of certain chemicals, including pyrethroid insecticides and the triazoles grouping of substances
These chemicals are considered crucial to controlling weed growth, such as blackgrass, in European horticultural crops.
The UK's agricultural industry could be particularly heavily hit if the legislation passes, with the PSD report saying: "The proposals could lead to the removal of 85 per cent of agrochemical products currently approved for use in the UK. They would create food shortages, soaring prices and a reliance on imported produce."
The report adds that carrots, parsnips and onions would suffer heavy losses, with the potential for 100 per cent crop loss.
"If not substantially modified, these proposals could have a substantial impact on the cost, availability and quality of food in europe, hitting family budgets hard at a time when inflation is already increasing," noted Wyn Grant of pesticideinformation.eu.