This latest report from Pesticide Action Network UK, Sustain Alliance and trade expert Dr Emily Lydgate warns UK consumers could face dramatic increases in ‘Highly Hazardous Pesticides’ (HHPs) in food staples if the government rushes through a trade deal with India.
The UK is looking to negotiate the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in record time in order to ‘double trade with India by 2030’. It is likely to face considerable pressure to water down pesticide standards from the Indian government, which is infamous for lobbying aggressively against protections. The deal is also likely to have major impacts on UK agriculture, with Indian farmers able to produce food more cheaply using toxic pesticides that are banned in the UK.
This report proposes a set of detailed recommendations for the UK government including:
- Do not allow any weakening of UK pesticide standards via a UK-India FTA. This must include:
- Ensuring that no currently banned pesticides are allowed for use in the UK
- Ensure that food containing detectable residues of currently banned substances cannot be imported into the UK
- Ensure that Maximum Residue Levels are maintained or reduced.
- Prevent UK farmers from being disadvantaged by cheap food imports produced to weaker pesticide standards in India.
The UK should ensure that its border controls are adequately resourced to ensure that products with illegal levels of pesticide residue aren’t circulating in the UK.
The first 'Toxic Trade' report compared existing UK pesticide standards with those of the US, Australia and India and is available here.
The second report, released in June 2021, covers the UK accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership and is available here.
The third report, released in February 2022, reveals that ongoing trade discussions between the UK and Brazil are likely to lead to an increase in pesticide-related harms in both countries and is available here.
Toxic Trade: How a trade deal with India threatens UK pesticide standards and farming
40pp - 2022 | 2980Kb
Published 27 Jul 2022
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