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Pesticides: the European Commission’s sham proposal to halve their use – Le Monde

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In Fromelles (Nord), near Lille, in May 2016. DENIS CHARLET / AFP Is Europe finally determined to tackle an addiction that is corrupting its agricultural system, undermining its biodiversity and threatening the health of its citizens: pesticides ? The European Commission published, on Wednesday June 22, a proposal for the revision of the regulations on phytosanitary products. Long-awaited, postponed several times, the text sets an ambitious objective: to reduce the use and risks of pesticides by 50% by 2030. the agricultural component of the European Green Deal. “The time is over for pesticides,” enthused the European Commissioner for Health and Safety, Stella Kyriakides, as soon as the text was presented. This is supposed to replace the old directive of 2009, which so far regulated the use of pesticides and had not managed to curb their dependence. The new legislative proposal sets for the first time legally binding targets for States. Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers “The agricultural Green Deal will not take place” They will be negotiated at the national level with each government. The objective could be raised to 60% for the States that consume the most pesticides, but also be lowered to 35%, depending on the progress already made. Thus, a State may set a target of less than 50%, if the “intensity” of its use of phytosanitary products was less than 70% of the European Union (EU) average for the period 2015-2017, and whether its reduction efforts between 2011-2013 and 2015-2017 were above the European average. The negotiations promise to be tense Asked by Le Monde, the government is unable to specify what objective France plans to set itself. “We are at the beginning of the process. The question of the objective will be at the heart of the debates, ”says the Ministry of Agriculture. The Commission’s proposal must now be submitted to the European Parliament and to the States. The negotiations promise to be tense. During the European Council of Agriculture Ministers on June 13, around ten countries had asked for the reduction targets to be revised downwards. During the presidential campaign, Emmanuel Macron, who chairs the EU until July 1, invoked the agricultural crisis caused by the war in Ukraine to call for a reduction in the objectives of the “Farm to Fork” strategy. , believing that Europe could “not afford to produce less”. Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Pesticides: the objectives of the European Green Pact are threatened Arguments put forward by the European Federation of Agricultural Trade Unions and Cooperatives (COPA-Cogeca), led by Christiane Lambert, the boss of the National Federation of Agricultural Trade Unions farmers (FNSEA): it maintains, on the basis of studies financed by the agrochemical giants, that a reduction in the use of pesticides could lead to a reduction of up to 20% for certain productions, and therefore make the European agriculture more dependent on imports. You have 56.97% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

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