EU rules could force gardeners to take action

Gardeners could be forced to change the way they use their gardens and greenhouses if the European Union (EU) passes a rule that outlaws the use of 22 chemicals in pesticides used for farming.

People in the UK and across the EU could find that prices for things like potatoes, broccoli and Brussels sprouts shoot up as supply drops, according to the National Farmers Union.

The NFU says it will become problematic to grow potatoes and broccoli en masse and almost impossible to grow sprouts, should the pesticides be banned.

Vice president Paul Temple has urged NFU members to take action to prevent what he believes could be a food crisis.

"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.

The chemicals in question have been linked to cancer and DNA damage, but the European Crop Protection Association has called on the EU to only ban chemicals proven by a third party to be conducive to ill health.

Gardeners may find that using the garden and greenhouse to grow their own proves a safer and more cost-effective way of producing food.