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January Retox Anyone?

31st December 2023

Just one year from now.

I want you to remember this date and when you start sipping on your January detox smoothie, you may like to think of it instead as a retox, yes, a retox!

I probably sound harsh, but I’ll make no apologies for that. My frustration and anger is not directed at you, but at this government.

Current EU laws strictly control UK pesticide use and the maximum residual level that can be left on vegetables, fruits and grains. Even with this tight regulation, grain receives on average 11 pesticide applications: 4 fungicides, 3 herbicides, 2 growth regulators, 1 insecticide and 1 molluscicide. In fact, an insecticide is even sprayed on the grain, as it is put into storage, as a preventative measure for pests such as weevil, or to kill an infestation.

“It is estimated that over 90% of farm grain stores, harbour at least one species of insect known to infest grain. The number of growers who use an insecticide to treat either the fabric of the building or the grain directly, is estimated to be around 40%”

Wheat field

Jacob Rees-Mogg says he wants to slash UK food regulations now we’ve left the EU

“We want high standards… but other countries around the world eat very good food too... but don’t make farmers lives completely impossible by loading them with regulation."

Is that statement true?

Let's look at the facts

· Countries that have been deregulated for many years, massively increase their pesticide use.

· Worldwide pesticide poisonings have increased x 15 in the past 3 decades

· 44% of the global population working on farms, are poisoned by pesticides each year.

· Pesticides kill. They kill the soil which is full of microorganisms, and they kill mammals, birds, bees, worms, invertebrates, fish, crustaceans, plants and algae.

· NZ was deregulated in 1984. This year a study was done on 501 New Zealand school children. Urine analysis showed high exposures to chlorpyrifos/triclopyr and pyrethroids.

· Pesticides effect reproduction and development. They are a neurotoxicant, carcinogen and endocrine disruptor.

Therefore, I say as politely as I feel able to, that JRM talks out of his arse!

So, why is this date important?

This is the date that 4000 EU laws effectively come to an end, unless a special effort is made to replace or retain them. EU laws that by and large are there to protect us. This means, that there is a very real possibility of poorly controlled pesticide use from 2024 onwards, leading to an increase in both use and residual levels left on crops. In turn, this will have long term implications to both our health, and the health of our children and grandchildren. I haven't even started on the implications to the environment!

That juice fast doesn't sound quite so cleansing now!

Juices & smoothies

What will deregulated farming look like in the UK?

Based on the last twelve years, can you imagine what deregulated farming will mean under this current government?

I have no idea whether you voted for or against Brexit, and I’m not interested. You were lied to. Repeatedly. However, we don’t have to sit passively, waiting for everything that is important to us to blow up in our faces.