EU seeks to slash use of pesticides in half by 2030

Brussels, Jun 22 (EFE).- The European Commission on Wednesday presented a legally binding target to reduce the use of chemical pesticides in Europe by 50% by 2030.

As compensation, farmers who will have to make changes to adjust to the new rules can cover costs through the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) for a period of five years.

“We need to reduce the use of chemical pesticides to protect our soil, air and food, and ultimately the health of our citizens,” commissioner for health and food safety, Stella Kyriakides, said.

Kyriakides explained that the Commission would not take a one-size-fits-all approach, but will take into account historical and national progress in the use of pesticides in each of the 27 member states when establishing national objectives.

The pesticide initiative is a part of a package of proposals to save ecosystems and restore biodiversity in the EU by 2050.

“These rules translate our commitment to halt biodiversity loss in Europe into action, to protect health, to help build sustainable food systems in line with the European Green Deal and to ensure lasting food security,” the Commission said in a statement.

It also pointed out that scientists and citizens are “increasingly concerned about the use of pesticides and the build-up of their residues and metabolites in the environment.”

The Commission said that the current rules on pesticides “have proven to be too weak and have been unevenly implemented.”

In addition, the Commission set new strict rules on pest control, which will guarantee that all farmers and other professional users practice integrated pest management that considers alternative environmental methods of pest prevention and control.

A total ban on pesticides in urban green areas also has been proposed.

“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,” Kyriakides said. EFE


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