No Future for Farming without Reducing Pesticide Dependency

(Brussels, 30 May) Today, the European Parliament has adopted an own initiative report "The Future of Food and Farming" (Rapporteur DORFMANN, EPP) as a contribution to the forthcoming reform of the European Common Agricultural Policy, meant to be released Friday.

PAN Europe welcomes the EP’s emphasis on pesticide use reduction, which was conspicuously absent in version of the CAP legislative proposals seen so far.

The current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) does not deliver on  existing commitments to reduce pesticide dependency. PAN Europe welcomes that the European Parliament’s report on ‘the future of food and farming’ adopted today makes reference to:

- the Directive 2009/128/EC on the sustainable use of pesticides (SUPD) and

- the Commission report of 10 October 2017 on Member State National Action Plans and on progress in the implementation of the SUPD.

An ambitious piece of legislation like the SUPD needs big spending programmes like the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in order to be successfully implemented. So we also welcome the report’s calls to “devise a specific measure within rural development centred around the European Union’s eight principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)” in order to encourage a reduction in the use of pesticides and promote the uptake of non-chemical alternatives;

However, we are very disappointed that the following amendment, approved in the budget Committee opinion  did not pass in plenary:

Insists upon a results-based approach to payments; proposes, therefore, the inclusion of the following issues for indicators:

– maintaining and creating jobs in the sector;

– retaining small and medium farm businesses;

– the health and biodiversity of soil, species and taxa richness;

– topsoil protection and creation, soil cover against erosion;

– reduced nutrient losses and increased water quality;

– biodiversity, including the richness and abundance of bird species, wild pollinators and insects;

– the reduction of pesticide-use dependency and the uptake of integrated pest management (IPM)[1];

This amendment was completely logical, taking into consideration that the purpose of the reform is to shift policies from compliance to performance and to shift the CAP into a New Delivery Model (NDM), with broad policy objectives and common performance indicators.

We are also disappointed that a majority of MEPs, including those claiming to have the citizens’ interests at heart and jumping on the anti-pesticide bandwagon, chose not to recognise the European Citizens Initiative on glyphosate, where 1,3 million people signed up in less than four months. We will be looking closely at who voted how.

During the next phase of the CAP reform starting with the publication of the legislative texts proposed by the Commission expected on Friday 1st June, we will be insisting on the inclusion of serious action to reduce pesticide use and dependency, so full implementation of the SUPD.

[1]  in line with Directive 2009/128/EC on the sustainable use of pesticides (COM(2017)0587)

Contact PAN Europe, Henriette Christensen, +32 486 32 99 92, henriette [at] pan-europe.info

 

 

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