PAN EuropeNews


Press Release

19 May 2008

Commission comes out fighting for better EU pesticides legislation

Following weeks of heavy handed lobbying from the pesticides industry, and amid a lack of consensus among Member States, the European Commission this afternoon came out fighting for better EU pesticides legislation.

Speaking at a meeting of the Council of Ministers, Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Health described the proposed pesticides approvals criteria as being "essential" towards delivering better protection for human health and the environment from exposure to hazardous pesticides.

The Commissioner also noted that current EU pesticides legislation, which she described as being out of date and based on "very old science", was in need of urgent reform in order to bring it into line with new scientific evidence regarding the health impacts of hazardous pesticides.

Vassiliou concluded by stating that the Commission's assessment of the impacts of its proposed pesticides approvals criteria will have no substantial impact on agricultural productivity - not least because many of the substances proposed for withdrawal are already banned by many Member States.

PAN Europe welcomes the Commission's determination to push for better protection of human health and the environment from exposure to hazardous pesticides. "In recent weeks the Commission and the Council of Ministers have endured sustained lobbying from representatives of the pesticides industry urging them to abandon measures designed to better protect human health and the environment" said Elliott Cannell, Coordinator of PAN Europe.

"It is excellent to see the Commission fighting for better legislation on pesticides - despite pressure from pesticides manufacturers. Public health must come before corporate profits. Vassiliou's presentation sent out a clear message to the people of Europe: that the future of European food safety depends on the elimination of hazardous pesticides from the EU food supply chain. This is an assessment we fully support."

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