The Promoters Of The Initiative To Reduce Pesticides Denounce Their Lethargy In The Eurochamber

“Enter constructive negotiations to enable and support the necessary transition to a more sustainable food system that benefits farmers, citizens and nature in equal measure instead of continuing to stand in the way of regulating sustainable use of pesticides (SUR )”. This is the request made by the platform ‘Save the bees and the farmers’ to the president of the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament, Norbert Lins, given the lethargy in which they consider that the initiative presented by the European Commission last year is sunk month of June.

"Save the bees!": the European citizens' initiative that makes its way in Brussels to preserve pollination

“Save the bees!”: the European citizens’ initiative that makes its way in Brussels to preserve pollination



The community government promoted new rules to limit by law the use and risk of pesticides in the EU within the framework of the so-called ‘Farm to Fork Strategy’, which pursues “a fair, healthy and respectful food system with environment”. The initiative aims to halve the use and risk of chemical pesticides as well as the use of more dangerous pesticides by 2030. “Member States will need to set their own reduction targets within clearly defined parameters, as well as their own strategies to ensure that the objective at EU level is achieved collectively”, stated Brussels.

However, the promoters of the citizen initiative that collected more than a million signatures to request, among other things, the drastic reduction in the use of pesticides fear that the European Parliament is delaying the deadlines for the approval of these regulations for the interests of the companies.

“We are very concerned about the delays in the political process in the SOUTH”, they express in the letter, to which has had access, in which they point to the “delays that are being caused by the presidency of the Agriculture Commission and the rapporteurs based on a claim to the Council for supplementary data”. In the letter, the platform that includes some 200 NGOs recalls that Lins himself asked the European Commission to withdraw his proposal.

He is not the only member of the commission who has questioned the plans of the community government. “It is something that is a demand from society, but from the first moment we are concerned because the problem for farmers is not the reduction of pesticides, but rather the lack of alternatives to be able to carry it out,” said socialist Clara Aguilera, who is the speaker of the topic.

“As of today, the food supply for millions of Europeans is not guaranteed,” said the PP MEP Juan Ignacio Zoido in 2022: “Our farmers, our ranchers and our industry produce at maximum yield. We cannot tie them hand and foot with regulations that restrict their productive capacity. For this reason, we cannot put our food security at risk with any of the initiatives included in the European Green Pact”.

One of the concerns of the signatories of the letter is precisely that the war in Ukraine is used as a “pretext” to delay the entry into force of regulations to reduce the use of pesticides.

“More than 660 scientists warned shortly after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine that political efforts to abandon the sustainability goals of the Farm to Fork Strategy (including the use of pesticides) do not protect us from the current crisis, rather it makes it worse and makes it permanent”, says Helmut Burtscher-Schaden, signer of the letter.

However, the reluctance to the proposal comes from a long time. “Sri Lanka managed to get ahead of the European Commission as a great global benchmark for environmentalism, with its ‘From Farm to Fork’ Strategy (…). Today this country is facing an unprecedented food crisis: production has dropped by 50%, food prices have skyrocketed and ration cards are being distributed,” Vox MEP Herman Tersch said in a debate in Parliament on the proposed the Commission in 2021: “An ill-calculated populist decision has led the country to a food collapse: Sri Lanka has painfully understood that you don’t play with food.” “This ‘From Farm to Table’ Strategy is going to greatly harm the economic sustainability of the European primary sector,” warned the representative of Ciudadanos Adrián Vázquez.

The processing of the regulations has unleashed a battle in which the Socialist MEP Eric Andrieu has accused his colleague, the Spanish Clara Aguilera, of consciously delaying the process given that the intention of the Environment Commission, which is also part of the himself, is to have the matter ready in September, as reported by Politico, which assures that Aguilera categorically denies that he is delaying the matter.

With this panorama, the platform calls on the president of the Agriculture Commission to set a calendar so that Parliament can set its position for the negotiation. “We respectfully ask you to provide a timetable for the decision process in the Agriculture Committee that allows for constructive cooperation with the Environment Committee and a vote before the summer break,” the letter concludes.



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