Today, PAN Europe along with more than 70 civil society organisations wrote to the European Commission: Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioners Stella Kyriakides, Janusz Wojciechowski and Virginijus Sinkevičius, asking it to put an end to the EU’s double standards in relation to hazardous pesticides.
The letter criticizes the EU approving the export of pesticides deemed too dangerous to be used in Europe to third countries, and then importing, from these countries, food that has been produced using these very same pesticides.
“EU companies are taking advantage of weak human health and environmental national laws in order to sell to third countries pesticides that are considered too dangerous for use in Europe. This is simply immoral yet the Commission is giving its consent”, says PAN Europe Science Policy officer Angeliki Lysimachou.
According to a recent investigation, in 2018, EU member countries approved the export of 81,615 tonnes of pesticides containing 41 substances that have been banned for use in European fields due to environmental and health concerns .
A different study showed that the residues of 74 pesticides banned in the EU were found in food tested on the European market in 2018 . “With a sort of a boomerang effect, these pesticides find their way back into Europe as residues found in imported food products” continues Lysimachou.
The signatory organisations are calling on the Commission to stand firm in its commitment under the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability to ensure that hazardous pesticides banned in the European Union are not produced for export, but should also ensure that no banned pesticides are allowed as residues in food placed on the European market. Efforts must not be limited at the European level, and the Commission must help establish a new UN mechanism to promote a phase-out of highly hazardous pesticides globally.
Link to the letter: https://www.pan-europe.info/sites/pan-europe.info/files/Banned_pesticides_open_letter.pdf
Contact: Angeliki Lysimachou, angeliki [at] pan-europe.info, +30 6973 608484