On the 15th of January the steering committee of the European coalition “Citizens for Science in Pesticide Regulation” reached out to the Members of the European Parliament to give emphasis to the importance to adopt the PEST Committee report, aiming at ensuring a high level of protection for human, animal and environmental health against potential harm caused by the use of pesticides in the EU.
The coalition emphasized that by adopting the report the Members of the Parliament support:
- Recognising that the EU system has to be improved to achieve its purpose
- An independent, objective, up to date and transparent assessment of active substances and pesticide products, addressing chemical mixtures and chronic exposures
- To update data requirements and guidance documents to increase level of protection particularly for the most vulnerable and the environment
- Full implementation of Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive giving priority to sustainable and ecological alternatives to plant protection products, and consistency with Plant Protection Product Regulation when approving an active substance or product, or when using derogations
- The ban of the use of pesticides for desiccation resulting in high crop residues and in areas used by the general public or by vulnerable groups
- A post-market vigilance system, monitoring real-life exposures and impacts, evaluating efficiency of models and test methods used in risk assessment, taking into account real-life exposure levels in renewals of active substances and products
- An increase in expertise, independence and objectivity in Member States and EFSA involved in the assessment, ensuring scientific knowledge and capacity to thoroughly assess raw data;
- Carrying out regular audits in GLP-certified and national reference laboratories;
- Integration and proper evaluation of all relevant peer-reviewed scientific publications on active substances or products in the assessment, considering adjuvants, co-formulants and mixture effects.
The report will help to improve the European system of pesticide authorisation to meet its purpose to provide a high level of protection for humans, animals and the environment
On January 16th, in an effort to re-build citizens’ trust, a great majority of Members of the European Parliament voted in favour (526 in favour, 66 against) of the PEST Committee report that highlights the shortfalls of the current pesticide authorisation system and calls for substantial improvements in the process to ensure that pesticides used in agriculture and management of green/urban areas cause no adverse effects to humans, animals and the environment, as the EU law demands.
This is clearly a step forward for the coalition, who stresses out in its manifesto:
“If the EU regulation were properly implemented and risk assessment methods were overhauled to be scientifically rigorous and objective, a number of pesticides that were previously deemed safe would be shown to endanger human health and/or the environment and would have to be banned or restricted.“