Rigorous science, safe food, and a healthy environment
The European Union has one of the best regulations for pesticides in the world – in theory. But it is not implemented in practice.
The current pesticide risk assessment procedure that determines the approval of pesticide substances in the European Union ends up authorising the use of harmful chemicals in the production of our food and management of public green areas, putting at risk the health of European citizens and our environment.
This is the underlying message of the new European coalition “Citizens for Science in Pesticide Regulation”.
The coalition’s manifesto for “rigorous science, safe food, and a healthy environment”, has been signed by more than 110 civil society organisations and institutions, as well as individual experts and is calling upon European regulators to urgently reform the current pesticide risk assessment and risk management system and suggests practical solutions to the major failings in the system.
“If the EU pesticide regulation were properly implemented and risk assessment methods were overhauled to be scientifically rigorous and objective, a number of pesticides that were previously deemed safe would be shown to endanger human health and/or the environment and would have to be banned or restricted.”
The manifesto was first launched in Brussels on 31st October by the EU and national civil society organisations Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, ClientEarth, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Global 2000 (Austria), Generations Futures (France) and Justice Pesticides (France), with a scientific conference followed by a press conference.
The manifesto and the coalition launch comes at a crucial moment when the European Commission is reviewing pesticides legislation as part of its REFIT programme, the European Parliament has published a series of reports and has set up the PEST Committee to investigate the European Union’s authorisation procedure for pesticides, and the Commission has presented a proposal to increase transparency in European food law.