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With Global Food Crisis,
EU Ministers Ban Farm Chemicals

June 25, 2008 (EIRNS)—On June 23, the European Union agreed on another piece of the genocidalist policy run by Anglo-Dutch "free trade" globalizers: try to ban agricultural chemicals, in the face of global food hyperinflation and threats of famine. They did so as 10%-20% of U.S. corn and soybean crops are lost in floods due to environmentalist blocking and non-investment in water management projects. And they did so as the Australian government, which could double its grain production to meet the crisis, instead is pushed by the World Trade Organization into abolishing its own Wheat Board, jeopardizing wheat production across Australia.

The EU council of agriculture ministers agreed on the new draft bill to restrict the use of pesticides which, the Italian think-tank Nomisma has warned, could reduce yields up to 30% for crops like wheat. Producers' ability to constantly update pesticide substances would be jeopardized so that crops like potatoes could be 100% endangered, and we could have a new "potato famine" in Europe. Under the new regulations, Europe could soon be transformed from a food exporter to a food importer, experts warn.

The new EU bill would prohibit the marketing and use of substances, based on the ideological concept of "hazard" instead of "risk" (example: wine is hazardous if ingested in large quantities, but presents no risk in moderate quantities). Four countries, however, abstained, correctly arguing that such a decision, leading to reduced crop yelds in a time of food crisis, is wrong. The four countries are: Ireland, Hungary, Romania, and Britain.

The new regulation also bans the use of pesticides near nature reserves and parks, and aims to reduce the use of animal testing involved in their production. The decision goes now to the European Parliament, where a majority exists in favor of even more restrictive regulations!

The European Crop Protection Association issued a statement blasting the EU decision, calling for an independent impact assessment of the key measures before a final decision is taken. The ECPA said the measures will lead to more expensive food and to an increase of imports.

Scientific Incompetence Helps Create Famines

June 25 (EIRNS)—On April 28, EIR had interviewed Andy Leadbeater, chairman of the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC), who warned of a European "potato famine." Also other crops, like olives in Mediterranean countries, would be dangerously exposed. The reason for this threat, Leadbeater explained, is the shift from the previous "risk-based" approach to consumer health protection, to a "hazard-based" approach. With a hazard-based approach, any substance which is considered hazardous for man's health if directly ingested, should be banned from use in pesticides, regardless if there are zero or irrelevant residues in the final crop or in the consumer product.

Scientists gathered in Lubljiana last week, among them Leadbeater, warned that the danger with the EU prohibitions is that a number of insects can become resistant, similar to development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Scientists warn that in order to guarantee crop protection, at least 3 or 4 modes of actions must be guaranteed for each individual pest. A mode of action is a different chemical approach for the same parasite, which ensures that the parasite which might have developed resistance to one mode, is eliminated by another mode.

One extreme case would be the potato crop, which could be left with no protection against the dangerous Late Blight (Phytosphora Infestans), the disease that provoked the infamous potato famine which killed one million Irish in 1846-1850.

Wheat would be exposed to Septoria, threatening to destroy 40% of the harvest. And olive trees in Mediterranean countries would also be left with an extremely small number of solutions to protect against parasites.