The Impact of a Glyphosate Ban on the UK Economy report reveals the potential £940 million burden the proposed ban would be put on UK farmers and the impact on end consumers, with the price of the average shopping trolley expected to rise.
The report, conducted by Oxford Economics and the Anderson Centre and commissioned by the Crop Protection Association, shows the potentially devastating impact on the British economy and agricultural sector, should the active ingredient be abolished.
It revealed a ban by the European Union on herbicides containing glyphosate could:
Ian Mulheirn of Oxford Economics says: “Our report’s findings are very clear, a glyphosate ban will negatively impact UK GDP and agriculture, at a time of real uncertainty for British farmers.
“If glyphosate was not approved for use in the UK but remained available in the rest of the world, this would place domestic production at a considerable disadvantage. An EU-wide ban could even push up food prices for consumers.”
Farmer Andrew Ward says a ban on glyphosate could put British farmers out of business. “The report reveals what we have long feared, a glyphosate ban would reduce yields for some key crops and push up our costs. This could tip struggling farms over the edge."
As well as the economic impact, Mr Ward believes there would also be environmental consequences. “We would have to use bigger vehicles and do more ploughing which would mean greater carbon emissions and less biodiversity,” he says.
Responding to the report findings, chief executive of the Crop Protection Association, Sarah Mukherjee says: “The debate around the use of glyphosate is more about politics than science. Glyphosate is and always has been safe, with over 40 years of robust scientific evidence showing no risk to safety.
“Clearly the UK government should continue to champion a science-led approach to decision making in Europe and vote to renew glyphosate’s licence. Failure to do so risks damaging the economy, the environment and the agricultural sector.”