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Environmental, economic costs of EU neonicotinoid ban ‘devastating’, according to study

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Rapeseed fields in Germany. Image: Daniel Schwen/Wikimedia
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[A] potential ban or suspension of NNi [neonicotinoid seed treatment] technology would have tremendous economic implications…. To take few examples: over a five-year period, the EU could lose 17 billion EUR and more; 50,000 jobs could get lost economy-wide; and more than a million people engaged in arable production and their livelihoods would certainly suffer if NNi were lost.

In addition, if NNi were no longer available in the EU, there would be a significant reduction of food production considerably altering the agricultural trade balance. Moreover, any reduction in agricultural productivity in the EU would need to be compensated by making new arable land available outside of the EU. … The environmental cost of converting this land for arable use would be substantial….

Growers across the EU would lose a significant part or their economic margins, or entirely lose profitability on some major crops. Large agricultural industries, such as European sugar producers, or seed companies would be exposed to significant risks and become far less competitive and entire regions could suffer negative socio-economic consequences, or be deprived of important growths opportunities.

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The study also underlines the importance of looking holistically at agriculture. An action taken in one area, not fully considered, can have major unintended consequences elsewhere. In addition, the study shows, perhaps surprisingly, that NNi has become an integral part of European agriculture and significantly contributes to European food production. If this technology were no longer available, food production would decline by an amount sufficient to feed many millions of people.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The value of Neonicotinoid seed treatment in the European Union A socio-economic, technological and environmental review

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