(Brussels, 28 April) Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, Inter-Environnement Wallonie and the Velt welcome the proposal of Agriculture Minister Mr Borsus to ban placing of glyphosate-based herbicides on the market for non-professional users by the end of 2017 and restrict their use in private gardens.
On 27th April, the Agriculture Minister of Belgium Mr Borsus announced his intention to ban placing of glyphosate-based herbicides on the market for all non-professional uses. This decision is based on «the application of the precautionary principle» and on the fact that alternative methods that do not put human and environmental health at risk are widely available. PAN Europe, Inter-Environnement Wallonie and Velt welcome this decision, which not only ensures a policy coherence among the different authorities (the three Regions of Belgium have already banned the use of glyphosate-based herbicides by private persons) but also sends a strong signal : The « domestic » use of pesticides belongs in the past !
Inter-Environnement Wallonie (IEW) says: « This decision could be expanded and applied, not only to glyphosate-based herbicides, but to all pesticides for private use as many ecological alternatives are already available. In addition, we call for a rapid application of this prohibition in order to prevent the expansion of glyphosate-based products in the garden centres’ shelves, while their use by private users is already prohibited.” Valérie Xhonneux from IEW further adds: « We hope this proposal stimulates an ambitious policy to reduce the use of glyphosate-based herbicides by the professionals. »
Barbara Creemers from the Velt adds: “It is a first good step towards a pesticide free world. But we are not there yet! Therefore, we ask Minister Mr Borsus to quickly work on a strict legal framework that takes into account the stocks in stores which should not be sold. So that with our campaign «2020pesticidevrij», everyone can promptly enjoy green spaces without worrying about the presence of pesticides »
Angeliki Lyssimachou from PAN Europe concludes : ”Glyphosate-based products shouldn’t be available for public use in the first place. Hundreds of studies confirm that glyphosate has an enormous impact on environmental ecosystems and biodiversity, and is dangerous for human and animal health. Glyphosate and other toxic pesticides have no place in our gardens nor in our neighbours’ gardens. We hope that this decision opens the path to ban all dangerous pesticides from use in private gardens and abandon this dangerous, old-fashion model of pest management.”
Barbara Creemers, «2020pesticidevrij » Campaign Coordinator at the Velt, Tel : 03 287 80 94 - 0497 80 35 75 barbara [at] velt.be
Valérie Xhonneux, Inter Environnement Wallonie, Tel : 081.390.763 v.xhonneux [at] iew.be
Angeliki Lyssimachou, Environmental Toxicologist at PAN Europe, Tel. +32 2 318 62 55 angeliki [at] pan-europe.info