Nitrate pollution remains a major problem in France due to its intensive agriculture. The French Prime Minister has resolved to take action, after a new indictment of France by the Court of Justice of the European Union last week.
SPECIAL REPORT / Every year the world loses roughly 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil, with chemical fertilisers singled out as one of the main culprits. Yet, agriculture experts are calling for more widespread use of the substances to improve land fertility and boost yields.
In agreeing to come up with a list of Sustainable Development Goals, governments have pledged to take a holistic approach to our global future, therefore viable farming should remain top of the list, argues Abdulrahman Jawahery.
SPECIAL REPORT / Stepped-up farm production to feed a growing world could lead to shortages of a vital crop nutrient, phosphorus, prompting European officials to consider conservation and recycling measures to protect supplies.
When blood-red sludge broke through containment walls in the Hungarian town of Ajka in October 2010, the immediate concern was the safety of hundreds of nearby residents. In the end 10 people died from exposure and the toxic muck spilled into waterways, including the Danube, prompting alarms downstream.
World fertiliser production is expected to soar to keep up with rising food and biofuel output, but this also triggers environmental problems as fertiliser sucks up energy and trigger water and soil pollution.
The EU is set to introduce stringent tests to regulate the manufacture and sale of fertilisers and other materials used to make home-made bombs in the wake of Anders Behring Breivik’s mass murder in Norway last week (22 July).
Massive amounts of phosphorus, a fertiliser widely used in agriculture, and billions of pieces of plastic are poisoning the global marine environment, said the UN, calling for better management of global waste.
The European Commission proposes simplifying the legislation on fertilisers, by consolidating the 18 existing Directives into a single, comprehensible text. This simplification is in accordance with the principles of the White Book on Governance published in July 2001.