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!
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.
In our citizens science action, 300 people across Europe got their hair tested for pesticide residues. The results are now published by an independet laboratory – and clearly show that the EU needs to drastically reduce its pesticide use to protect people, biodiversity and the environment!