Action Group Calls for EU to Reconsider Use of ‘Harmful Pesticides’ in Agriculture

"Action group challenges European Commission to review pesticide policies amidst accusations of supporting harmful chemicals"

The European Commission has come under fire from an action group, PAN Europe, which operates in 60 countries worldwide. The group has accused the commission of supporting the “use of harmful pesticides” and has called on it to review its decisions. The department responsible for European Union policy on food safety and health has been criticised for failing to ensure a “high level of protection for humans, animals and the environment”.

PAN Europe has launched two new legal procedures against the commission and has urged it to review its decisions in relation to the “identification of unacceptable co-formulants” and “highly toxic pesticides”. The group has also submitted a request for a review specifically on abamectin and a second request for a review in relation to a procedure to identify “unacceptable pesticide co-formulants”.

Co-formulants are chemicals added to pesticide products, other than the active substance, to increase their toxicity and effectiveness. According to the campaign group, EU pesticide regulation requires the same level of protection from co-formulants as from active substances but it claims that co-formulants are not assessed thoroughly for their toxicity. The European Commission recently published a regulation to regulate co-formulants and ban those identified as unacceptable from products’ composition. But PAN Europe has described the move as ” a smoke screen”.

The group has warned that health and the environment in Europe “are seriously at risk by the current pesticide use”. Martin Dermine, executive director at PAN Europe said decisions by the commission and member states “keep disregarding the provisions of the pesticide regulation”. “We observe that instead of giving precedence to citizens’ health and the environment, the commission keeps favouring the interests of the agro-industry. “Maintaining the presence of highly toxic pesticides in our environment, including on our food, goes against the signals regularly sent by citizens,” he added.

Salomé Roynel, a policy officer at PAN Europe said: “Scientific evidence shows that many co- formulants are toxic to bees, to aquatic life, or are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction substances. “These are dangerous substances and they should be thoroughly risk-assessed.”

The campaign group has urged the commission to “ban toxic pesticides instead of maintaining them on the market.” It has repeatedly called for a review of decisions made by the commission and member states. The group has warned that health and the environment in Europe “are seriously at risk by the current pesticide use”.

The commission has yet to respond to the accusations made by PAN Europe.

Categories: Agriculture