Save Our Sprays campaign gets off to a flying start

The Farmers Weekly Save Our Sprays Campaign has got off to a flying start with over 850 indications of support on our weekly on-line poll, about 220 signatures to our petition and ringing endorsements from key industry stakeholders.

The SOS Campaign is our response to impending EU legislation that threatens to wipe out the majority of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides used on British farms.

We have two main concerns:

  • There has been no assessment of the impact such a change in pesticide licensing will have
  • Using “cut-off” criteria for approving pesticides based on hazard rather than risk sets a dangerous precedent and is bad science

And it seems that our readers share these concerns.

This week’s FW Question of the Week asked “Will you support Farmers Weekly’s Save Our Sprays campaign?” Of the 850-plus who have replied, 86% have said “yes”.

More importantly, about 150 readers have already signed our petition, demanding a rethink in Brussels.

The comments included in their responses indicate the depth of feeling on the subject. The following is a selection:

Farmer Comments:

“This is a crazy new law, yet again from the EU, when food security should be top of every politician’s agenda in the European parliament and Westminster.” James Thompson, farmer

“This legislation will cause environmental damage in terms of food miles, a larger cropped area due to reduced yields and reduced efficiency of nitrogen, causing more climate change.” Howard Moore, agronomist/farmer

“This is the most ludicrous set of proposals in the face of insect, weed and disease resistance, not to mention the knife-edge supply and demand of food globally.” Keith Norman, Velcourt

“Have consumers been informed of the reduction in quality and consistency of supply of European-produced fresh produce, I wonder?” Nigel Hodson, technical director

“This would take us back about 50 years and halve our production.” Leslie Hanbury, farmer

“We will be the only industry in the world to be regulated by hazard and not risk.” Neil Drummond, agronomist

“I hope this does not get put in force as we in Britain will be forced to follow legislation and the rest of Europe will please themselves as usual!” Stuart Henderson, engineer

“What would be the reaction of doctors, nurses and the general public, if 80% of the drugs now available for them were removed by the same EU?” David Stockdale, farmer

“This legislation will have an adverse effect on agriculture in the EU, when food from outside the EU will still be produced using the same products banned by the EU.” Richard Wise, agronomist

Clearly feelings are running very high. But, with the legislation due to return to the European parliament for its second reading in the autumn, time is running out.

Now is the time to start lobbying. For a start, if you voted “yes” on our Question of the Week, please go the extra step and sign our e-petition now

If you did not vote on the poll – sign our e-petition anyway!


You might also like to join our Forum debate to register your views on this dangerous piece of legislation.


Over the coming weeks, we will also be urging readers to lobby their MEPs, both with face-to-face to meetings and a letter writing campaign as the legislation returns to the European parliament in the autumn.

Ever thought what life might be like without pesticides?