EU rules on pesticides could fuel spike in grow your own food

New European Union (EU) rules over pesticides could see a spike in interest in growing your own fruit and vegetables across the continent as farmers find it increasingly difficult and costly to grow staple crops.

According to the National Farmers Union (NFU), the EU regulations that remove 22 chemicals from pesticides could lead to difficulties growing Brussels sprouts, potatoes and broccoli.

The regulations are aimed at reducing the number of chemicals linked to cancer and DNA damage used in growing food, but the NFU claims this could lead to supply issues.

Union vice president Paul Temple has even gone as far as asking members to canvas their local Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on the issue.

"We are calling on our members to write to their local MEPs to express their concerns over these proposals and ask them to reject this deal at the plenary vote which will take place in Strasbourg in early January," he said.

Other bodies, such as the European Crop Protection Association, have backed the NFUs claims by suggesting that any ban be postponed and only applied on risk-based criteria set out by independent experts.

If the move goes ahead, there could be a great increase in the number of people using their greenhouses and gardens to grow their own food, to avoid rocketing prices and scarcity of supply.