A plague of pesticides

Our Spanish member Ecologistas en Accion calls on their government to use the Spanish EU Presidency to establish an ambitious policy on the use and impact of pesticides. In a manifesto, they describe the plague of pesticides contaminating the planet. The manifesto is made together with WWF España, SEO Birdlife and SEAE Agroecology. Here is the English translation of the text.

“Agricultural production is the main source of diffuse pollution, in particular from pesticides. Almost ⅔ of the world's cropland is at risk of pesticide contamination by more than one active ingredient, and about ⅓ of it is at high-risk[1].

This situation has serious consequences for human health, as pesticides are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, reproductive and respiratory disorders, neurological dysfunction and cancer[2]. Despite this evidence, current legislation is failing to protect humans and the environment from the dangers of synthetic pesticides.

Regulations are deficient in their coverage, implementation and enforcement, failing to effectively implement the precautionary principle and to significantly change many bad practices[3].

This is why the European Green Deal and more specifically its Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies 2030, proposes to reduce the use and risk of synthetic pesticides by 50% as well as the use of the most hazardous pesticides by 50%.

It also aims to promote organic production and reclaim space for nature in agricultural areas as a guarantor of food production[4].

To make this objective binding, a proposal for a Regulation on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides is being negotiated in the European Union.

However, this regulation is being boycotted by certain political parties and agro-industrial sectors interested in hindering the necessary agro-ecological transition towards sustainable food systems that are healthy for people and the planet.

The time to commit to a binding regulation for all EU member states and to establish an ambitious state policy on the use and impact of pesticides is now.”

Read more in Spanish.



[1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/350473430_Risk_of_pesticide_pol...

[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959652620347016

[3] https://www.ohchr.org/en/calls-for-input/report-pesticides-and-human-rights

[4] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ele.13576

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Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe) gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the European Union, European Commission, DG Environment, LIFE programme. Sole responsibility for this publication lies with the authors and the funders are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.