Today, the new pesticide Regulation 1007/2009 enters in force. This marks the beginning of the new revolutionary system in which ‘cut-off’ criteria will be used in pesticide authorisation for the very first time. Up to now EU Commission used traditional risk assessment and was not able to ban a pesticide if industry resisted. Numerous theoretical calculations and non-science based assumptions were allowed to grant market access of very dangerous pesticides like Chlorpyrifos, Carbendazim, Amitrole, Linuron and Mancozeb. EU Regulation up to now wasn’t very effective and pesticides stayed one of the main causes of biodiversity loss as research of 12 European institutes shows (Geiger, 2010 ).
A full transition to effective protecting measures needs to be made from 14 June on.
PAN Europe today send a letter to Health Commissioner Dalli to encourage him to make the required radical change in pesticide approval. PAN asks Mr. Dalli to take the lead and instruct regulators to let go old dogma’s and habits and return to a science-based approach. The rusted traditions practised for decades might not disappear easily. And attention is needed, because there are several signs EU institutions already resist to the policy change adopted by Parliament and Council:
- EFSA tried to dismantle the new obligation in the Regulation to use independent science by qualifying industry sponsored studies as of highest reliability and relevance and independent studies of questionable use:
European Food Standards Agency chooses industry studies over independent science
- Germany/UK proposed to reverse the ‘cut-off’ regime for endocrine disrupting pesticides in the new Regulation back into traditional risk assessment with its numerous ways of getting to a favourable outcome for commercial parties:
Hostile raid of UK/Germany on EU endocrine disrupting criteria
- Member States massively and growingly choose for derogations, by-passing the Regulation, to allow illegal pesticides on the market without solid safety measures for people and the environment:
France European backdoor champion on pesticides
- Commission itself -just a few days before the new Regulation entered in force- granted market access to the dangerous fungicide Carbendazim, capable of causing malformations in the foetus, which would not be allowed under the new Regulation:
Chemicals - Pesticides in the spotlight
COMMISSION DIRECTIVE 2011/58/EU of 10 May 2011 amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC to renew the inclusion of carbendazim as active substance
- Commission made the big mistake in creating a second chance for already banned pesticides -dozens will be rehabilitated under the so-called Resubmission regime-, leaving no time to work on developing new test requirements and guidelines for the Regulation and even leading to a postponement of the assessment of pesticides under the new Regulation:
Re-assessment of harmful herbicide silently postponed in Europe
Hans Muilerman of PAN Europe states: “Mr. Dalli should involve independent scientists to completely restructure the evaluation system to make a return possible to a science-based system, effectively protecting people and the environment from dangerous pesticides”.
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For further information please contact:
Hans Muilerman, PAN Europe, hans [at] pan-europe.info,Tel: +31 (0)6-55807255