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The EU approval system for pesticides must improve to better protect human health, say S&Ds

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Agriculture & Food
Today the environment committee voted on a report by S&D MEP Pavel Poc, which calls for a better approval system for pesticides in the EU.  
 
It is part of the scrutiny by the European Parliament on the implementation of the EU Regulation on the placing of plant protection products on the market. The recent controversy related to the renewal of the approval of the active substance glyphosate further highlighted that trust in the authorisation process has been seriously undermined.
 
Furthermore, a recent parliamentary study identifies concerns about the potential negative impact on human health and the environment. A number of crucial aspects are not being sufficiently assessed; for example non-intentional mixtures and combination effects, environmental impact on biodiversity, pesticide degradation at low concentrations, developmental immunotoxicity (for example immune-based childhood diseases and conditions, such as allergies, asthma or child celiac disease) and developmental neurotoxicity (exposure to some chemicals in early fetal development can cause neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism or attention deficit  among others).
 
Another problem is the lack of transparency and the little promotion of the healthier alternatives. 
 
S&D MEP Pavel Poc said:
 
“I am convinced that further efforts at both the EU and national level are needed to ensure effective implementation of the Pesticide Regulation.
 
“Even though the objectives of the regulation related to health and the environment are reported as relevant to the real needs, the evaluation showed that these two objectives are not being achieved in practice. We cannot put people's health at risk. Citizens are demanding transparency in the chemicals we are all exposed to.”
 
Miriam Dalli MEP, S&D spokesperson on health and environment, said:
 
“The ineffective implementation of the Regulation negatively impacts public health and the environment. Even though low-risk substances already exist, the available evidence shows that these are not widespread enough. The enforcement of regulatory decisions, as well as greater transparency by the member states on authorisation of substances, is a must.”
 

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