EU Commission proposes its first bans for endocrine disrupting pesticides

The 2009-pesticide Regulation rules that endocrine disrupting pesticides should not be allowed on the market. Health Commissioner Andriukaitis now for the first time proposes to ban two of these pesticides, the herbicides Amitrole and Isoproturon, in today's meeting of the EU Standing Committee, Amitrole is capable of causing malformations of the offspring and of inducing thyroid cancer; Isoproturon of causing adverse effects to reproduction and of lowering fertility.

PAN Europe applauds these two proposals but at the same time notes that a large reservoir of harmful classified and endocrine disrupting pesticides is waiting for a decision which is repeatedly postponed by Commission. In the meantime these pesticides stay on the market and people and the environment remain unprotected against their harms.

The Table below presents 4 examples of pesticides with very serious harmful properties for which a decision has been delayed. For Flumioxazin a decision was due in 2013 but still hasn't made. For Flupyrsulfuron and Pymetrozine its even worse. A decision was due in 2011, meaning 5 years of delay.

Flumioxazin Herbicide in vineyards and orchards, used in 16 EU MS R1B (presumed effect on human reproduction) plus toxic for the endocrine organs Reproductive organ abnormalities, reduction live pups, toxic effects on prostrate, testis, etc.
Flupyrsulfuron Herbicide in cereals, used in 12EUMS R2 (suspected human reprotoxin) and C2 (suspected human carcinogen) Liver tumours, foetus: retarded ossification of the skull
Pymetrozin Insecticide for fruit and vegetables, used in 25 EU MS R2 (suspected human reprotoxin, 2x) and C2 (suspected human carcinogen) Liver and lung tumours; malformation of offspring
Flutianil Fungicide, pending, no use yet inEUMS R2 (suspected human reprotoxin) and C2 (suspected human carcinogen) Tumours in liver and pancreas; harmful developmental effects

One of the reasons of these delays is that Mr. Andriukaitis' health service DG SANTE is using much of its time to implement two types of derogations for these groups of pesticides. These are "negligible exposure" (Reg. 1107/2009 Annex II, 3.6.5) and "serious danger to plant health " (Reg. 1107/2009, Art. 4.7) and SANTE actively invites industry to apply for these derogations. Several of the most harmful pesticides therefore could escape the principles of the Regulation of "no exposure" and be sprayed in the fields by regular tractor-mounted equipment.

PAN Europe is very concerned about these delays, especially because in the upcoming publication of the criteria for endocrine disrupting pesticides, DG SANTE may try to completely water-down the rules of Reg. 1107/2009, reinstall traditional risk assessment and avoid any banning of such pesticides in future.


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