The Price is Rice


Due to a stroke of bad korma or perhaps the new EU import restrictions, Politicians have been warned that the price of a curry will increase by December.
The EU Commission has ordered basmati manufacturers to slash levels of the pesticide Tricyclazole to a hundredth of its current legal level. Indian farmers who make up 60% of the world’s basmati rice use this compound to protect against rice blast disease and has been doing so for the last 30 years. Yet, the Commissioner ruled that traces of the compound must be all but eradicated from December. The Indian Government responded, saying it would take farmers at least three harvests over three years to effectively modify their crops.
The EU currently imports around 360,000 tonnes of basmati rice a year, of which 150,000 tonnes comes to the UK. Around 80 per cent is brown, and 20 per cent white. As a country whose favourite meals are takeaways, we should prepare our pockets for a real rinse.
Conservative MEP for London, Syed Kamall states that this would have a disastrous effect on farmers livelihoods in India, and calls upon the Commissioner to delay implementation of the order, to give the farmer’s time to be able to have their crops compliable. He even adds “especially since no-one is seriously claiming that Indian Basmati rice has suddenly become unsafe to eat”.
The EU regulation states: “In view of the long shelf life of rice, this Regulation should provide for a transitional arrangement for rice grown in 2016 or before, in order to allow for the normal marketing, processing and consumption of rice.
“However taking into account the uncertainties regarding certain properties of Tricyclazole, the timelines foreseen in this Regulation do not allow for any treatment with Tricyclazole in 2017 or thereafter.”


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Treasurer 2018-19 Food and Drink Editor 2017-19

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