Sir, – I was impressed with the Euro Notebook article Richard Wright last week about the mistaken decision by a majority of MEPs to only give glyphosate five years further use.

An extremely cautious approach would be to restrict the use of glyphosate to fallow land, fodder and industrial crops. A constructive way forward would be to fund the development of an alternative herbicide which is as effective and can be bought for a similar price – but I wonder how many tens or hundreds of millions it will take and if MEPs will be open about what area of social support they are going to take that money from?

What if they are spending so much public money without good reason and without having a referendum to find out if the public is willing to spend that much? Shoppers are already voting with their wallet in supermarkets.

I wonder if MEP Ian Hudghton can give evidence that there is a better, cheaper alternative on the way? If there is, then there would be no need to ban glyphosate as if would soon lose its market share anyway.

I also wonder how much money it took to bring Roundup-ready maize to the point where it was cleared for human consumption. I doubt if it will be a simple procedure to create GMO crops for use with a new product and anyone who doesn't like the idea of the cocktail of chemical residues on their food is free to buy organic – if they can afford it.

Looks to me like we need to get all school children out hoeing the weeds on a few acres of vegetables each then their adult selves might be more willing to accept the risks associated with using herbicides.

Oh sorry, we can't possibly do that because they might get stung by nettles, scratched by thistles, blisters on their hands, soil flying into their eyes, it would be too hard work and a bit boring!

Alexander Brownlee

2 Illieston Castle Steadings,