Sustainable use of pesticides: one year delay in publishing European Commission report

26 November 2015 – The European Commission has taken a full one year delay in submitting a report to the Parliament and the Council on increased use of alternatives for pest and disease control. Let us hope that this does not reflect an overall low ambition of Europe to reduce the risk to human health and the environment through implementation of sustainable use of pesticides.

The Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) foresees that the European Commission submits a report to the Parliament and the Council informing on Member States’ quantitative objectives, targets, measures and timetables for implementation in a move from pesticide dependant pest management to sustainable integrated pest management by 26 November 2014 (1). It is now 26 November 2015 a full year on and the report has still not been published.

Several analyses undertaken by PAN Europe have shown that Member States’ ambition to reduce reliance on pesticide use is low, especially in the agricultural sector (2).

The Food and Veterinary Office, the EU body controlling the implementation of the SUD in Member States, confirms this conclusion. The two audits undertaken in 2015, in Austria and Italy1, both conclude that ‘There is no system to verify that all professional users implement the general principles of IPM as required by Article 14 of Directive 2009/128/EC’. This is a serious delay as this was meant to be applied as from January 2014.

PAN Europe and IBMA have a long tradition on working on the SUD, including for the last 4 years jointly organising an SUD symposium aiming at showing why serious implementation is needed (4). PAN Europe and IBMA call on the European Commission to take a proactive approach to ensure a solid implementation of the SUD in the near future.

Wyn Grant, University professor from University of Warwick, who addressed this years SUD symposium says: '"he progress being made is disappointing and a new impetus is needed" to that Henriette Christensen PAN Europe adds: “the European Commission is the watcher of the EU legislation if they do not dare to reinforce EU regulation on pesticides, what is it all worth?"

This doubt is also questioned by IBMA, with David Cary stating “Innovative solutions need innovative regulation but it has to be enacted and enforced!” and Willem Ravensberg continuing “IPM is proven to be working in many cropping systems, what is keeping broader adoption from occurring?”.

Contacts:   Henriette Christensen, senior policy officer PAN Europe,   + 32 473 37 56 71

                 David Cary, executive director of IBMA:                           + 44 777 55 14 840

Footnotes:

(1) According to article 4 of Directive 128/2009/EC establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides

(2) http://www.pan-europe.info/Resources/Reports/PANE - 2013 - Reducing pesticide use across the EU.pdf

(3) http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/other/l28178_en.htm

(4) This symposium was organised jointly by International Biocontrol Manufacturer Association (IBMA), International Organisation for Biocontrol (IOBC) EuroCoop, Pesticide Action Network Europe and Greenpeace, all presentations and the conclusions are available at:http://www.ibma-global.org/en/news/symposium-feeding-europe-while-reduci...

Note to editor:

PAN Europe is a network of NGOs working to minimise negative effects and replace the use of hazardous chemicals with ecologically sound alternatives. We work to eliminate dependency on chemical pesticides and to support safe sustainable pest control methods. Our network brings together 33 consumer, public health, and environmental organisations, and women's groups from across Europe.

IBMA is the association of biocontrol industries producing biological solutions: microorganisms, macroorganisms, semiochemicals and natural products for plant protection. Based on long years of intensive research and development, the "Biocontrol industry" is now growing fast and can offer safe and cost- effective solutions to the entire food chain. IBMA was created in 1995 to represent the views of the rapidly developing biological control manufacturers, including a high number of SME’s with limited resources, research organisations, extension services, consultants, distributors, contributing to the development of biocontrol and participating in IBMA activities.

 1 In 2015 FVO published the following audit reports concerning marketing and use of pesticides: Austria and Italy

Link to press release in pdf

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