Farmers to reap severe consequences for illegal pesticides

Politicians and farmers are working together on a plan to cull the rising use of banned agricultural products

June 6th, 2012 11:45 am| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

More control, stiffer fines and greater self-regulation. That’s what renegade farmers are set to harvest if they continue using banned products.

There has been a fierce political reaction in the wake of revelations that criminal importers are supplying Danish farmers with illegal pesticides and fertiliser that harm the environment and ground water.

The environment minister, Ida Auken (Socialistisk Folkeparti) said that she finds it completely unreasonable that some farmers are partaking in activity that compromises the environment, ecosystem and the public’s health.

“The problem is that some farmers and importers don’t feel pressured enough by the authorities,” Auken told Politiken newspaper. “At the moment, we are working on a new pesticide strategy. We’re looking at raising the fines because the financial incitement is apparently great enough to do these things.”

At the heart of the illegal pesticide trade is a business connection in the Djursland region of Jutland. Through the connection in Djursland, over 13,900 tonnes of fertiliser and 45 tonnes of pesticides were imported into Denmark between the years of 2006 and 2009, including the banned herbicides Isoproturon and Butisan Top.

Among the buyers are some of the nation's largest farming operations, including a royal hunting grounds master, several estate owners and a board member of Landbrug & Fødevarer (Danish Agriculture and Food Council).

Per Clausen, the environmental spokesman for Enhedslisten (EL), was also furious that the illegal importation was sabotaging the government's plans to reduce the pollution of Danish waterways.

“This is completely unacceptable and is a clear example of the poor morality in the agriculture sector as well as a failure of the authorities,” Clausen told Politiken. “It seems like the illegal activities have been allowed to fester, much to the harm of the environment.”

Auken will meet with leaders within the agriculture sector and discuss how the farming industry can clean up its act. They will also examine the possibility of increasing control and regulation as well as look at cracking down on the importers and sellers of the illegal products.

The local agriculture community in Kolding has already reacted to the scandal by excluding Bent Hjort Knudsen, a farmer and importer who was revealed to be selling illegal pesticides, from the local agricultural association.

When they say redheads are fiery, that means they’ll spontaneously combust ... at the sight of a bronzed brunette (photo: iStock)
Brick by Brick: Born to burn
Apart from a couple of times in my early teens, I have never sunbathed in m...
Dive for the candy at the smashed end of a barrel this weekend (photo: Pixabay)
Join the masses and beat the barrel this Fastelavn!
Kids of all ages are keenly awaiting a special Danish celebration known as ...
Bashing the barrel (photo: Illustreret Tidende)
Kids not the only ones up to mischief at Fastelavn in years gone by
Terrible stories circulate around the traditions behind Fastelavn, the begi...
Massive Attack2
Already massive, they’re edging towards institution status
They may be three decades old, but Massive Attack are still selling out ven...
Many asylum-seekers do not consider the all-important recognition rate (photo: iStock)
Denmark’s asylum rules might be reprimandable, but its recognition rate is robust
From the adverts in Lebanese newspapers in September 2015 warning them Denm...
If I’d known I’d stay on the Civil List, I would have done this years ago!
Straight, no Chaser: Of cabbages and kings
The blue touchpaper on the first New Year’s fireworks had barely been lit...