PAN EuropeNews


Press Release

16th September 2013

PAN Europe on the EDCs French Strategy: a provision that should not be present

The European network Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe) denounces the provision to support a priori a revision of the European criteria for the exclusion of pesticides endocrine disruptors and ask to withdraw this provision from the national text of the current public consultation.

PAN Europe, European network congratulates the French government for its commitment to adopt a national strategy on the issue of endocrine disruptors (SNPE).

The project SNPE includes significant progress in particular recognizing the new paradigm posed by the specific action of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs):  however, it contains a provision to support at European level a major setback for the recent legislation concerning Pesticide 2009). If this provision, to which opposed both national NGOs and MEPs participating in the working group preparing the Strategy, would be maintained (see box in section C.2.2 of the Strategy), this strategy would clearly mark the end of French ambitions and claims to be a leading actor, voluntary and responsible in this area of ​​public health and innovation on the European and international scene.

In fact, C.2.2 part (substances within the scope of plant protection products and biocides) foresees to validate the text with nothing less than the possibility to "revise the criteria for exclusion" of certain substances after an "impact study" taking into account the "consequences for the protection of health, environment and the active ingredients available."

In other words the proposed text foresees consultation to come back on the a priori exclusion of pesticides recognized as endocrine disruptors changing the fundamental principles of the European law. And therefore, substituting it by some sort of risk assessment, which is not present under the EU Regulation 1107/2009. Indeed, the 1107/2009 European Regulation is based on the intrinsic hazard of pesticides recognized endocrine disruptors and not on an assessment of the risk for different types of people. To come back on the foundation of the European regulations adopted in 2009 by the European Parliament and the 27 Member States would be a significant decline in public health in relation to what was a fundamental breakthrough in the European Regulation on Pesticides. In addition, the draft text of SNPE provides in its "Impact" to take into account the “available active substances”, which means we could exempt from exclusion already known pesticides endocrine disruptors if it would be requested by producer groups based on the pretext of so-called technical impasse / unavailability of alternatives? On particular cultures, as was so often the case in the past? This would lead de facto to exemptions from the principle of exclusion already clearly set out in the EU Regulation.

PAN Europe also strongly questioned the democratic legitimacy and legality of such provisions to be included in the document in order to foresee the French authorities’ future position in a European debate to come.

Despite the strong opposition of NGOs and MEPs listed as participants in a text box in the consultation, PAN Europe and Générations Futures/PAN France [1] are very surprised that this is still in the text submitted for consultation as it is a very big sticking point of the working group and a major threat to the success of this Strategy, that couldn’t be supported by NGOs and MEPs sitting in the SNPE steering group as it is.. Why such a stubbornness from the Ministries wanting  to leave at any price in the text of the future SNPE this provision only  supported by the MEDEF and only aiming to bow to pressure from agriculture and agro-chemical lobbying group. PAN Europe and Générations Futures/PAN France urge the French government to remove these provisions from the SNPE and therefore restore its legitimacy and his ambition to be a leading country in Europe on the subject of endocrine disrupters and, more widely,  on environmental health issues.

"Keep the text in this article would be nothing less than empty of its meaning the only European legislation providing for a priori exclusion of pesticide endocrine disrupting. Such a step backwards is not supposed to be done in a national strategy for EDCs claiming on the contrary to increase the level of security of its citizens in this area. For sure it should not be kept in a paper presented by a government that claims to make French agriculture a model of “agro-ecology “. said François Veillerette, President of PAN Europe. "We urge the French government to remove this provision without delay from the text that will be finally approved" he concludes.

 Who we are: PAN Europe is a network of NGOs working to minimise negative effects and replace the use of hazardous chemicals with ecologically sound alternatives. Our network brings together consumer, public health, and environmental organisations, trades unions, women's groups and farmer associations from across 19 European countries. We work to eliminate dependency on chemical pesticides and to support safe sustainable pest control methods.

— ENDS —

Further information

1. Générations Futures officially became PAN France at the end of May 2013.

For further information please contact:

Francois Veillerette, PAN Europe President and Générations Futures Spokesman. Tel: 0033681646558

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