EU crop protection measures threat to nation's identity

Europe's proposed crop protection rules could have a severe affect on the nation's landscape, culture and identity if they are made law.

This is the claim of Cranfield University's senior lecturer in business economics Séan Rickard in a study he published last week on the economic impact of the proposed pesticide restrictions - to replace Directive 91/414/EEC on crop protection substances.
In the report, he said the downsizing of the UK agricultural industry that such proposals could lead to would have implications wider than purely economic.
"The agricultural industry retains a symbolic importance in the nation's psyche. The presence of farming influences the local landscape, it shapes a region's identity and it enriches the rural culture and identity.
"These contributions are not subject to objective quantifiable analysis, but their social value and contribution remain very real."

He added: ".. over the past decades change in agriculture has been consistent with rising living standards, more pleasant working conditions and rising food security. What is proposed would seriously compromise these three pillars of post war agricultural policy in this country."


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