> Neonics Ban Kills Oilseed Rape in the EU - The Food Safety Company Neonics Ban Kills Oilseed Rape in the EU - The Food Safety Company
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    Wednesday, 18 January 2017

    Neonics Ban Kills Oilseed Rape in the EU

    Farmers in the EU are suffering after a ban was passed on neonicotinoid seed treatment. Passed in December 2013 by the European Commission, the ban was initially enacted to allow more study of the effects of the treatment on wildlife, namely honeybees, who gather pollen from rapeseed during the spring. Unfortunately, as was wont to happen, the ban negatively affected the lives of those invested in the growth of rapeseed, a crop of many names – oilseed rape (OSR), rape, rapa and rappi. In countries where the use of neonics are not restricted (Americas, Ukraine, Australia), crop integrity remains wholly unaffected, thus rapeseed production has steadily carried on.
    Meanwhile, farmers in the EU are hamstrung by the loss, struggling vainly against the added costs and time levied by the ban. Without an effective substitute for neonics, farmers have resorted to pyrethroid foliar insecticide sprays. These are far less able to control flea beetles, a common pest that can easily decimate a crop of young rapeseed.

    A study published by Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture (HFFA) research consultancy explores the effects of the ban on EU farmers:
    • ·  More than £500 million has been last in revenue each year;
    • ·        The EU’s agricultural supply of oilseed rape (OSR) has dropped by 912,000t, a 4% decrease.

    A meeting held by the EU umbrella farming body Copa-Cogeca saw NFU vice-president Guy Smith speak out against the ban: “There is clear emerging evidence farmers both in Britain and in the EU are finding it more difficult to grow profitable crops of oilseeds because of increasing insect damage to crops. If farmers continue to walk away from growing pollen-rich crops such as oilseed rape then one of the victims will be bees …”

    Smith was prompted into speech after it came out that the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) planned to delay review of the ban until later in the year.

    Independent UK agronomist Alan Dewar published a study in which he concludes that the ban of neonics has “increased crop losses, decreased yields, and a substantial decrease in area grown.” Additionally, the report revealed that 579,000ha of oilseed rape was grown in the UK in 2016, down from 675,000 in 2014.

    The popular crop is used to produce edible oil, lubricating oils and soaps as well as serving as a feed stock in the production of biodiesel. A by-product of rapeseed oil production, rapeseed animal meal, is valued as a high-protein animal feed for cattle. 

    Jacqui Litvan

    Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).
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