Pesticides: Play it safe!

We asked IPSOS to survey consumers about their views on pesticide use. This report presents the findings of a public opinion poll in six Member States of the European Union: Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Spain. The six countries were chosen to give a good indication of attitudes across the EU as a whole in all its geographical, climate, political and economic diversity. The survey was conducted in August 2023 by the European Public Affairs team of the market research agency IPSOS. The survey addresses various issues related to farming, food production, pesticides, as well as their impact on citizens’ health and the environment.

The healthiness of food is a concern for 75.0% of respondents. Citizens in Denmark and Germany voice lower-than-average levels of concern (45.3% and 63.1% respectively), while those in France, Poland, Spain and Romania articulated a higher-than-average level of concern (over 83%).

The environmental effects of farming and food production worry 79.5% of respondents, with only respondents from Denmark showing a lower-than-average level of concern (62.6%).

As many as 81.8% of respondents are concerned about the environmental impact of pesticide use, with modest divergence across the six member-states included in the survey. 77.7% of respondents agree that the use of pesticides is harming the environment, with the highest agreement in France (82.5%) and Poland (80.3%).

The impact of pesticides on respondents’ and their families health worries 75.9% of respondents. Respondents in Poland and Romania expressed the highest level of concern about the health impact of pesticides (80.4% and 84.1% respectively), while those in Denmark and Germany showed a somewhat lower level of concern (62% and 69.8% respectively).

The survey participants expressed different levels of trust in national governments to prioritise people’s health and the environment when deciding on the use of pesticides. Those in Spain and Denmark expressed the highest levels of trust. In contrast, around half of Romanians (50,3) do not trust their government to protect them against pesticides. This number is 46,7% in France and 44,8% in Poland.

Three in five (59,0%) respondents agree that farmers should always use methods of preventing or controlling pests and diseases that carry the least risks for human health and the environment or else lose access to EU financial support. There is a modest divergence between the countries on this measure. 

Continue reading.


© Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe), Rue de la Pacification 67, 1000, Brussels, Belgium, Tel. +32 2 318 62 55

Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe) gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the European Union, European Commission, DG Environment, LIFE programme. Sole responsibility for this publication lies with the authors and the funders are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.