How the Council is trying to backtrack on EU commitment to end pesticides double-residues standards in food

After having twice supported the Farm to Fork’s commitment[1][2] to review pesticides import tolerances, taking into account environmental aspects, the Council is now completely shifting away from its word in the CAP trilogue.This unacceptable U-turn could nip in the bud the NGOs call and the ongoing work of the European Commission to put an end to pesticides double-residues standards in food (e.g. the implementation of less strict standards to EU’s trading partners than those applied to European producers).

Salomé Roynel, Campaigner at PAN Europe reacted: “We strongly condemn this backtrack by the Council, which cannot be justified by any valid reason, including WTO’s compliance.”

In 2020, PAN Europe carried out an investigation, which highlighted that 74 pesticides, that have been banned for use in the EU because of health and environmental concerns, were found as residues in 5811 food samples.

Salomé Roynel to add: “This is all the more unacceptable as no Member State had so far opposed this import tolerances’ review during the council discussions under the German Presidency."

"Indeed, we have analysed the individual comments of Members States on this point thanks to an access to documents request, and it came out that no Member State expressed explicit opposition to the review of these import tolerances in the past. A number supported this approach openly (Austria, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Sweden), whereas others didn’t comment at all.

“But now that it’s time to partly turn this commitment into a legally binding action (in the CMO regulation), the Council, under the Portuguese presidency is hypocritically shirking its responsibilities."

Salomé Roynel to conclude: “The CAP negotiations were a succession of abandonments of the commitments made in the European Green Deal. By opposing the revision of IT, the Council is giving its consent to put farmers to an unfair competition and provide consumers with food produced with practices that jeopardise the environment and biodiversity elsewhere. We urge him to return to its original commitment in the next round of negotiations”.


Contact:  PAN Europe, Salomé Roynel, + 33 7 86 39 72 74, salome [at]


[1]Item 40 of the Council Conclusions on the report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council evaluation of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 on the placing of plant protection products on the market and of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides.

[2]Item 52 of the Council Conclusions on the Farm to Fork Strategy.


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