Pesticide reduction

Detox EU agriculture!

Pesticides are a serious threat to our food and farming systems. On the field, they kill pollinators like bees and reduce the quality of soils. They endanger the health of farmers and field workers. And their toxic impact doesn´t stop at the farm gate: through the food we eat, they find their way into our bodies and our close environments. This concerns us.

In May 2020, the EU released the Farm to Fork strategy – a declaration of intent that could play a significant role in transforming our food systems. The Strategy aims to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system including environmental, agricultural and public health aspects of food. It sets clear targets to increase organically farmed land to 25%, to half the use of pesticides by -50% and to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers  by 20% by 2030. However, those targets are not legally binding and challenged by national governments and the agrochemical lobby.

The EU updates its pesticide regulation

To achieve the pesticide reduction goal, the EU Commission presented the first draft of a new pesticide regulation (“Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation”,  SUR) in June 2022. An agreement is expected in 2023. The current draft would already be a clear improvement over the status quo and was welcomed in principle by many European environmental organisations. At the same time, they criticized the draft for its lack of ambition and regulatory loopholes. In particular, the indicators that are supposed to make it possible to check compliance are inadequate. They are too undifferentiated and do not adequately include the toxicity of many pesticides in the assessment. Environmental organisations further point out the systematic underestimation of the risk of many pesticides, which are harmful even in the smallest quantities.

European civil society calls for more ambition

However, the legislative process has been marked by setbacks and delays to date. Lobbyists and some EU member states worked to water down the Commission’s draft. Currently, the new pesticide regulation is heavily attacked by representatives of agro-industry and regressive decision-makers. Thus, the presticide regulation is in danger to be far less ambitious than EU citizens wish!

The demands of the successful European citizens’ initiative “Save bees and farmers” , which over 1.2 million Europeans have joined, go far beyond the Commission’s draft. The initiative advocates an 80% reduction in pesticide use by 2030 and a complete phase-out by 2035. It also aims to support farmers in converting to agroecological practices.  Good Food Good Farming  supports the demands and also organized the Action days 2022 in the name of  less pesticides and more support for the agro-ecological transition  in Europe.

Now is the time to demonstrate our demands to EU decision-makers: Together we raise our voices for healthier food and farming systems that protect our biodiversity!

Repors & further reading

Tackling toxic myths on pesticides

Why pesticides are not the answer to food security

By Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE), 2023

Pesticides in the new CAP

Business as usual puts nature and human health at risk

By BirdLife Europe and European Environmental Bureau (EEB), 2022

Locked-in Pesticides

The European Union’s dependency on harmful
pesticides and how to overcome it

By foodwatch, 2022

Our action

Inform your network:
We need a strong SUR!

Share those animated share-pics to spread the demands for better pesticide regulations in the EU. Available in 8 different languages!

Spread the word:
Farmers reduce pesticides!

9 conventional farmers from 4 EU countries tell us why they reduced spraying – and which public support is needed to do so.


300 people across Europe got their hair tested for pesticides. The results, published by an independet laboratory, show that the EU needs to drastically reduce its pesticide use to protect people, biodiversity and the environment!

GFGF protest action 2022 in Brussels!

The EU is updating its pesticide policy. On 27th of October 2022, the GFGF movement protested in front of the EU parliament in Brussels against the insufficient proposals to protect biodiversity and human health. We stated our demands: complete phase-out of pesticides by 2035 and support for farmers who move towards sustainable and toxic-free food production.

Those scientists, farmers, bakers and activists are fed up with pesticides:

Save Bees & Farmers