Fresh food prices are poised to rise following a controversial EU vote to ban a raft of chemicals used in pesticides.

The new legislation, voted on by MEPs in Strasbourg this week, could lead to the removal of up to 23% of pesticide products from the market, warned Britain’s Pesticide Safety Directorate. Carrot and pea producers were particularly concerned.

The European Council now has to ratify the proposal but the legislation is expected to come into force in late 2010. UK growers have lodged a complaint that Brussels failed to carry out an impact assessment.