Economic Valuation and Environmental Toxicology
Edited by Clive L. Spash and Sandra McNally
Chapter 10: Pesticide policy design and decision making in the United Kingdom: information, indicators and incentives
Katherine E. Falconer and Ian D. Hodge INTRODUCTION Since the 1947 Agriculture Act, and the subsequent adoption of the Common Agricultural Policy in Europe, great efforts have been made in the UK (as in most other European member states) to increase agricultural productivity. This drive to increase food production has given rise to environmental concerns, particularly with regard to the use of agrochemicals (McLaughlin and Mineau 1996; Campell et al. 1997). Following the implementation of the 1980 European Drinking Water Directive, there has been increased monitoring and awareness of the pesticide problem (Ward et al. 1993). Pesticide issues have remained high on the policy agenda. The reliance on the pesticides approval and registration system in most member states has come under increasing criticism in recent years, suggesting that policy needs to develop further to protect the environment from the adverse effects of regular, legal pesticide usage. There is now widespread agreement across Europe that pesticide use should be reduced wherever feasible, particularly in countries such as the UK where usage is relatively intense. The Fifth EU Environmental Action Programme proposed a reduction in the use of plant protection products as a major objective to be pursued for the agricultural sector. In this context, it is important to identify the economic approach that is most appropriate for assessing the environmental problems and making progress in improving environmental quality. For example, in the context of a policy to reduce pesticide use, the types of chemical on which reductions are focused has important...
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