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The pesticide industry is harming our health and the planet. MPs must act now

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A profound ecological transformation of food and farming is achievable, desirable and urgently needed. That’s a message that comes across loud and clear from the RSA Food Farming and Countryside Commission (FFCC) at the culmination of an innovative and independent two-year inquiry.

It provides a clear diagnosis of the causes of the current environmental and health crisis linked to how we produce and consume food. It describes how, over the last 70 years, agriculture has been about specialisation, consolidation and control over nature, with many farmers simply raw material suppliers to a processing industry. This model of agriculture has driven deforestation, wildlife loss, soil degradation and diet-related ill health.

We urgently need to farm in harmony with nature and put public and planetary health at the heart of food policy instead – and there’s one particular barrier that we need to do more to overcome: the malign influence of the pesticide industry. It’s no surprise that agrochemical companies are seeking to undermine the transition to environmentally friendly farming – just as the fossil fuel sector has sought to delay and derail the transition to renewable energy. Despite the Green Brexit rhetoric, recent signs are worrying.

In May, researchers from........

© The Guardian