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24 May 2023 - Soil Health - Oral evidence

Committee Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Inquiry Soil Health

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Start times: 2:00pm (private) 2:30pm (public)

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MPs study effects of pesticides and fertiliser on agricultural soil

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee is to continue its inquiry into soil health by looking into the effects of pesticides and fertilisers.

Meeting details

At 2:00pm: Private discussion
Inquiry Soil Health
At 2:30pm: Oral evidence
Inquiry Soil Health
Professor in Environmental Engineering at Durham University
Soil Biogeochemist at Rothamsted Research
Ecotoxicological researcher at UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH)
At 3:30pm: Oral evidence
Inquiry Soil Health
Chief Executive at Soil Association
Head of Organics and Natural Capital at Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA)
Head of Soils and Nutrients at ADAS

In this session, the focus will be on agricultural inputs, principally plant protection products (commonly referred to as pesticides) and fertilisers. This follows on from the last oral evidence in this inquiry when the Committee discussed the role of the agricultural sector and the barriers and potential incentives to improving soil health.

The UK government’s 2021 Food Security Report identified soil health as a risk area. Artificial fertilisers and pesticides are associated with many soil health issues. As soil health has declined over the years, some farmers have compensated by using more artificial products to maintain crop yields, creating a vicious circle of further degradation.


Room 6, Palace of Westminster

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