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EU: need to continue to reduce pesticides

A study raises the alarm: "we risk irreversible consequences on food safety"

The European Commission has published its response to the Council's request for more data on the sustainable use of plant protection products, which "confirms that the pesticide reduction targets contained in the proposed regulation on the sustainable use of plant protection products do not threaten food safety ". This conclusion "is not modified by the negative short-term effects of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. On the contrary - it is reiterated - failure to achieve the pesticide reduction target will have long-term and potentially irreversible effects on our food security in the future".

The study also shows that Member States have already made substantial progress towards meeting the targets, as confirmed in an annual update on pesticide reduction targets, also published today: in 2021 chemical pesticides had been reduced by 33% and the most dangerous ones by 21% in the European Union. While the EU is making progress in the right direction with a view to achieving targets of reducing the use and risk of chemical and most hazardous pesticides by 50% by 2030, "much remains to be done", says the Commission.

The study suggests possible ways to further reduce the administrative burden for farmers and take into account recent developments in alternatives to chemical pesticides. It also outlines possible further actions to accelerate the introduction of alternatives on the market "while maintaining the general positive trend and the possibility of continuing to resort to chemical and more dangerous pesticides only as a last resort".

By consistently applying IPM principles and receiving independent advice on its application, as foreseen in the proposed regulation on the sustainable use of plant protection products, "farmers can reduce their dependence on chemical pesticides without compromising the viability of their businesses", says the European Commission.

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EFA News - European Food Agency