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EU aims to halve pesticide use by 2030 as food supply pressures rise

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2022-06-24  Origin: foodingredientsfirst  Views: 30
Core Tip: The European Commission (EC) has unveiled plans to adopt pioneering proposals to restore damaged ecosystems and bring nature back across Europe.
The European Commission (EC) has unveiled plans to adopt pioneering proposals to restore damaged ecosystems and bring nature back across Europe. This includes reducing the use and risk of chemical pesticides by 50% by 2030.

Food supplies continue to come under pressure as the war in Ukraine intensifies, and these legislative proposals follow the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork Strategies, which will help ensure the resilience and security of food supply in the EU and worldwide.

More sustainable food systems by 2030
The proposal to reduce the use of chemical pesticides translates into the EC’s commitment to halt biodiversity loss in Europe into action.

The proposal will help build sustainable food systems in line with the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy while ensuring lasting food security and protecting the planet’s and its people’s health, notes the EC.

Member states will set their national reduction targets within defined parameters to ensure that the EU-wide targets are achieved.

The measures also include mandatory record-keeping for farmers and other professional users. In addition, countries must establish crop-specific rules identifying the alternatives to use instead of chemical pesticides.

Time for change
Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, believes it is time to change course on how pesticides in the EU are used.

“Through this proposal, we are delivering on our citizens’ expectations and our commitments in the Farm to Fork Strategy to build a more sustainable and healthy food production system.”

“We need to reduce the use of chemical pesticides to protect our soil, air and food, and ultimately the health of our citizens,” she continues.

“For the first time, we will ban the use of pesticides in public gardens and playgrounds, ensuring that we are all far less exposed in our daily lives. The Common Agricultural Policy will support farmers financially to cover all costs of the new rules for five years.”

Meanwhile, EU officials said the changes are “ambitious, but they will be gradual and feasible.”

Officials insist the plan will not put the continent’s food production at risk, noting there is no alternative to acting since the decline of pollinators caused by pesticides is a serious threat to food supplies in the longer term.

The impact on food
In line with its policy for sustainable pesticide use, the EC will soon propose, for the first time, a measure that follows up on its commitment to regard global environmental considerations when deciding on maximum residue levels in food.

Imported food containing measurable residues of prohibited substances should, over time, not be marketed in the EU. This will contribute to a virtuous circle and encourage third countries also to limit or restrict the use of these pesticides, already banned in the EU.

The EC will soon consult the member states and third countries on a measure for reducing to zero the residues of thiamethoxam and clothianidin, two substances that are known to contribute significantly to the worldwide decline of pollinators.

These are substances no longer approved in the EU. When the measure is adopted, imported food containing measurable residues of these two substances may – after specific transitional periods – no longer be marketed in the EU. 
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