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S&Ds: “New pesticides regulation is ambitious, feasible and fair”

Date

24 Oct 2023

Sections

Global Europe
Pesticides, especially those used in agriculture, are under scrutiny from the European Union due to their harmful impact on the environment, including the loss of pollinators and the degradation of soils, as well as their associated human health risks. Today's adoption of the new pesticides regulation by the European Parliament's environment committee, which introduces binding reduction targets for the first time, is a step in the right direction. It will bring indisputable environmental and health advantages, while also benefiting farmers and food security.
 
Despite strong opposition from the conservative European People’s Party to this necessary reform, the Socialists and Democrats built a progressive majority that successfully introduced a 50% binding reduction target for all pesticides and 65% for the most hazardous pesticides by 2030 into the new regulation, in line with the Commission’s proposal. They also improved the proposal by ensuring that farmers will possess the necessary tools to transition their practices to eco-friendly alternatives, while maintaining their economic activities.
 
Maria Arena, S&D negotiator on the pesticides regulation, stated:
 
“Today's vote sends a highly positive message that benefits both nature and farmers.
 
“The overuse of pesticides kills bees, damages our soils and makes people sick. Hence, a strong regulation is needed. Our goal throughout the negotiation was to maintain a high level of ambition to protect our health and the environment from pesticide exposure, while providing the essential flexibility and tools for farmers to transition.
 
“Binding targets at both the Union and national levels are essential, as they provide the means to ensure the Union-wide target is met. We are determined to achieve a 50% Union-wide reduction of chemical plant protection products by 2030, with even higher ambitions for more hazardous plant protection products.
 
“Given that member states have different starting points, they will set their national reduction targets from 15% to 65% based on parameters such as their intensity of pesticide use and past efforts.
 
“To support farmers in the transition, we have fought for improved access to pesticide control techniques, as these have proven that for some crops, conventional farmers managed to reduce their use of pesticides by up to 80% by implementing integrated pest management, without a significant loss of revenue. We have also ensured they have better access to eco-friendly alternatives, called biocontrol products.”

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