New European Parliament rules would increase food bills.

24-Oct-2017 @ 16:30

Daniel Dalton Daniel Dalton

Daniel Dalton Daniel Dalton

Daniel Dalton Daniel Dalton

New European Parliament rules would increase food bills.

Controversial new regulations for agricultural fertilisers ignore expert opinion and would raise costs for both farmers and producers across the EU, Conservative MEPs argued today.

The European Parliament has approved proposals to drastically cut the level of contaminants allowed in fertilisers. Permitted levels of cadmium would be reduced to 60mg per kilogram, eventually reducing to 20mg. Current levels range from 100mg to 400mg and scientists say there is no significant benefit to reducing quantities below the 80mg suggested by Conservatives.

If the Parliament report is now backed by the European Council and Commission, major manufacturers in countries such as the UK, France, Spain and Poland would either have to try to develop new technologies to eliminate contaminants or, more likely, import raw materials from Russia and Morocco with lower natural levels of contamination. In either case the cost to farmers would increase.

Conservative Internal Market spokesman Daniel Dalton said: "We support the modernisation of the fertiliser regulation but it simply goes too far on cadmium levels. The recommendations go against scientific evidence, are far more restrictive than in the rest of the world and would have a dramatic impact on our ability to produce food.

"Farmers need affordable and high quality fertilisers. If these proposals go through they will face massive cost increases and our food would become even more expensive."

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