Sunday, 9 September 2007

Pesticide Pollution,Farming, the Environment, and Gordon Brown's plans.

This is really about the lack of Gordon Brown's plans for the future of agriculture and the agricultural environment. Given the urgency of the need to create strategies for energy, efficiency and production in all fields(excuse the pun), there is almost a deafening silence from government. There are the occasional suggestions for using low energy light bulbs, but that's about the extent of their creative thinking. Let's have some concerted planning and incentives for really moving away from our dependence on oil!
In relation to farming I wonder if Gordon is going to opt for the environmentally sustainable option, or whether he will cave in to the agri business ,or the GM biotechnology industry.
It's a sobering thought that 75% of the UK is agricultural land and 31,000 tons of pesticides are sprayed on UK land every year......" The toxicity of pesticides used in agriculture has increased by an estimated factor of 10-100-fold since 1975.Despite this, resistence is spreading; POPS (persistant organic pollutants)are becoming less effective: they accumulate in the food chain, persist in the environment and travel by being bioaccumulated (as animals eat each other, so the POP is stored in fat and thus consumed and stored).Pesticides are a key route for POPS,, notably through aldrin, chlordane,DDT, dieldrin, endrin and heptachlor. 1000 species of insects, plant diseases and weeds are now resistant, an environmental impact known as the 'treadmill effect'."
Rain water in parts of Europe contains such high levels of dissolved pesticides it would be illegal to supply it as drinking water.
So, Gordon, what's it to be? Give us a clue.

Text in blue is information taken from 'Food Wars' by Tim Lang and Michael Heasman.

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