PAN EuropeNews


Press Release

13 January 2009

Parliament clears final hurdle towards EU pesticide blacklist

In one of the final legislative acts of the 2004-2009 Parliamentary session, soon to adjourn prior to elections in June, the European Parliament today confirmed its support for a new deal on EU pesticides legislation.

Voting in Strasbourg, Members of the European Parliament endorsed a raft of measures including the creation of an EU pesticide blacklist designed to replace the most hazardous pesticides from use in EU food production. The development means Parliament has now cleared the final hurdle in establishing future protocols for the authorisation and use of pesticides.

"After nearly three years of discussions the EU is just a heartbeat from eliminating dietary and occupational exposure to the worst carcinogenic and mutagenic pesticides", said Elliott Cannell, a spokesperson for Pesticide Action Network. "Today's vote is fantastic for consumers concerned that 50% of food items sold in the EU currently contain pesticides".

"We are glad that MEPs have seized this unique opportunity to phase out pesticides that can play a role in the cancer pandemic and growing fertility problems", said Monica Guarinoni, Deputy Director at the Health & Environment Alliance. "The pesticides policy reform approved today is a definite step forward for public health. We hope it will lead to creating healthier, pesticide-free public spaces at national level, especially in parks and schools where children spend most of their time".

The measures endorsed by Parliament also offer far greater protection for Europe's honeybees. Bees are essential for the pollination of up to 80 million tonnes of EU food produce - yet industry figures reveal up to 20% of pesticides may be toxic to bees.

Yet while the new deal on pesticides includes many measures designed to better protect public health and the environment, other elements have been greatly diluted over the course of the political decision making process.

"Perhaps my greatest regret is that Parliament agreed to go soft on pesticides linked with neurological and immunological damage to the development of the unborn child", said Monica Guarinoni, Deputy Director at the Health & Environment Alliance.

"The agreement also undermines the rights of national governments to take local authorisation decisions, thus opening the door for industry to take aggressive legal action against national decisions that don't go its way", said Elliott Cannell a spokesperson for Pesticide Action Network.

Media contact
Elliott Cannell, Coordinator, PAN Europe
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7065 0920

Monica Guarinoni, Deputy Director, HEAL
Tel: +32 2 234 3643 (direct)

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