Today, the popular initiative Sauberes Wasser für All (“For Clean Drinking Water and a Healthy Diet – Stop Subsidies allocated for Pesticides and Antibiotics for Prophylactic use”) was officially submitted to the Swiss Federal Chancellery in Bern. It proposes a total ban on synthetic agrichemicals such as pesticides in order to protect public health and the environment.
The protection of the health of Europeans as well as that of the environment from the harm caused by hormone disruptors remains a secondary issue for EU Regulators, as Member States confirmed today by voting in favour of the European Commission’s “controversial” proposal that sets the criteria for endocrine disruptors. The criteria risk failing to identify which pesticides effectively are endocrine disruptors and conveniently, will have little impact on the pesticide industry that places these products on the market.
The European Commission issued its formal response to the #StopGlyphosate European Citizens Initiative (ECI) . It officially recognised the submission of more than one million signatures on 6 October. Tuesday’s response is an answer to the ECI’s three demands for a ban of glyphosate, a reform of the EU pesticide approval process and mandatory EU targets to reduce pesticide use. The Commission proposed action that could fulfil one aspect of one of the three demands.
Alarming concern rises the assessment procedure given in the draft Guidance Document for the identification of pesticides and biocides that are endocrine disruptors (EDs) published yesterday by European Authorities. The document appears to have ‘come from the future’ as it presumes a very high level of understanding of the function of the endocrine system and of how substances cause endocrine disruption, which we currently don't have.
In December 2013, the European Commission restricted the use of 3 highly bee-toxic neonicotinoid insecticides, namely imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. On the 4th anniversary of the partial ban on these substances, new scientific knowledge confirms that these restrictions do not go far enough. Therefore, more than 80 EU NGOs are gathering to ask EU decision-makers to completely ban neonicotinoids without further delay.
December 3 is the anniversary of the worst peacetime chemical disaster in history. Twenty-seven tons of lethal gases leaked from Union Carbide’s pesticide factory in Bhopal, India on this date in 1984, immediately killing thousands of people and poisoning half a million others.
In a reaction report released today, PAN Europe welcomes the European Commission report to the European Parliament and the Council on Member State National Action Plans and on progress in the implementation of Directive 2009/128/EC on the sustainable use of pesticides (SUD).
Representatives of the #StopGlyphosate European Citizens’ Initiative will present their demands at a hearing in the European Parliament at 3:30 pm today. EU commissioner for health and food safety Vytenis Andriukaitis will present an opening and closing statement at the meeting.
South-Tyrol Organisation for Nature Conservation and Environment Protection, in collaboration with PAN Europe, recently published a report on the contamination of local playgrounds by pesticides from industrial apple production. Grass samples reveal that 40% of the playgrounds are contaminated by pesticides, exposing local children to toxic chemicals.