Trade agreement between the UK and India may allow India to use harmful pesticides that could hurt UK consumers, according to a report

A UK-India free trade agreement could result in dangerous pesticides being used in growing Indian foods . India has a fundamental economic interest in compeling the UK government to weaken domestic pesticide requirements .

LONDON (LONDON) – According to a recent report, a UK-India free trade agreement could result in dangerous pesticides being used in growing Indian foods harming UK consumers and causing Indian farmers to undercut British farmers, putting the future of British agriculture in jeopardy.According to the study, Toxic Trade: Why a trade agreement with India jeopardizes UK pesticide standards and farming, India has a fundamental economic interest in compeling the UK government to weaken domestic pesticide requirements in order to gain access to the UK market for India's food exports.If a pesticide is allowed to be used in the United Kingdom, it is theoretically forbidden to exist in food, thereby restricting imports.According to the study, Indian agribusiness would have a lot to gain if the UK agreed to weaken its approach by approving new harmful pesticides or overturning existing laws.

Imports of Indian agri-food from the United Kingdom are currently very low, with the possibility of a massive increase under new trading arrangements.Indian negotiators are likely to concentrate on removing non-tariff barriers, which would almost certainly put pressure on the UK to encourage Indian exports by including more toxic pesticides in food.According to the study, if the UK government bows to demands from Indian negotiators, the possible harm to the health of UK consumers could be significant.According to the report, Indian farmers would be competitive advantages over UK farmers because they could produce more cheaply with harmful pesticides that are currently banned in the United Kingdom.

According to a UK government spokesperson, we have tight regulatory requirements for pesticide residue levels in imported food, as well as a robust monitoring program.This trade with India would not be able to be replaced by an FTA because they do not meet our demands.We will not expose UK farmers to unfair competition or compromise our high standards.According to the study published by Brighton-based charity Pesticide Action Network (PAN) UK, Sustain and Dr Emily Lydgate, if UK negotiators incentivise an increase in Indian agri-food exports, then UK diets are likely to contribute to further increases in pesticide-related harms in India.