At a meeting hosted on Wednesday [27 September] by CEPM, the maize lobby in Europe, maize farmers stressed the need for “protecting science”. The timing is key: 2017 is supposed to be the make or break year for glyphosate, a pesticide, and neonicotinoids, three herbicides substances.
Celine Duroc of CEPM, speaking on behalf of the EU’s maize producers, said the EU has become a net maize importer and registered a reduction in its maize cultivation because of low competitiveness due to restricted access to genetic manipulation techniques and plant protection products.
She claimed that maize monoculture can have a positive environmental impact by acting as a carbon sink, thanks to its capacity to absorb CO2.
“Farmers can do a lot if they understand the benefits but rules should not be imposed upon them, particularly if they are not based on science.”
Gilles Espagnol of the plant institute Arvalis said that without glyphosate, farmers will be left with a few herbicide alternatives which are 20% less effective and more costly because they are patented.
Stricter regulation on neonicotinoids would have similar effects, as there are no viable alternatives for pest controls, Espagnol claimed.
“We need to keep all remaining solutions in our toolbox,” he said.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Maize farmers on glyphosate and neonicotinoids: ‘we need to protect science’