Glyphosate use cannot be taken for granted

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Despite the assurance of environment secretary Thérèse Coffey that glyphosate is safe on her watch, it hasn’t convinced all.

MP Coffey was speaking at the NFU Back British Farming event and allayed any fears when it comes to glyphosate by stating it was essential for British farming, adding that her department is committed to maintaining glyphosate use in the UK.

She also told the audience that the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs will continue to be led by the science. “The science is clear, farmers need it. It is critical to regenerative farming. It is staying,” she stated.

AICC Executive Director Sean Sparling welcomes her comments but is still a little unconvinced. He has much more faith in the product than he does in the words of politicians. He doesn’t doubt her integrity but just fears the fast-changing world of politics. “We’ve seen numerous government u-turns in the past regardless of colour so although the statement is welcome it doesn’t come with any guarantees. Words are cheap, actions speak louder.

Sean Sparling is more convinced by the product than political words

“I’ve used glyphosate for over 30 years and have reviewed numerous bits of research and I’m happy that it is safe, whether it be through its use or from any residues. The only things at risk from glyphosate are green plants. However, many pressure groups choose to ignore the science and by working together have a big influence on public opinion and decision makers. In time, alternatives to glyphosate are likely to appear but until that occurs the risk of a withdrawal or change of use will seriously impair many farming practices, especially those looking at regenerative strategies or min-till.”

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