Frackings impact on farms left out of UK Govts assessment.
A Defra report into the impact of shale gas on the rural economy was released on Wednesday (1 July 2016).
But the 22-page report, much of which had been withheld, devotes just two sentences to farming.
It warns that the industrialisation of the landscape from shale gas exploration could adversely impact farming and rural tourism businesses and that possible surface water pollution could impact people who ate “contaminated wildlife, livestock, or agricultural products”. But Defra has discontinued the study, and a spokesman at the Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc) said it had not done any specific impact assessment on farming and food production because it was satisfied the risks of fracking could be managed.
Decc said it based this on the findings of two reports – but Farmers Weekly found that neither of these looked in any detail at the impact on farming businesses and food production.
This is despite numerous concerns raised by farmers, the public and MPs about possible water contamination, degradation of farmland, food safety and the potential loss of contracts with processors and retailers.
Tony Holden, a dairy farmer’s son in Lancashire, said he feared supermarkets would ban produce from fracked farmland.
“I’m really worried because if we have an accident on farm and [the well] spurts stuff out, that land is redundant, useless. Farmers aren’t being told the truth,” he said.
Get yourself informed.If anyone comes in a shiny suit and offers up lots of money, they’re probably not the person you want to be dealing with.”