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Member states show little effort for cutting pesticide use for better health

EU member states have submitted national action plans to use pesticides more sustainably which show a variety of approaches, and seven countries are even running late.

The EU Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides requires all countries to set up national action plans, with quantitative objectives, targets, measures and timetables to reduce risks and impacts of pesticide use for health and the environment. Member States had to communicate the plans to the EU Commission by the end of last year, but information from Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, and Sweden is still missing.

HEAL is particularly concerned that member states reduce or stop using pesticides in areas where children, pregnant women and other vulnerable groups spend their time, such as school and sports grounds or parks. As part of HEAL’s Sick of Pesticide campaign, information on such “pesticide-free areas” has been collected which shows pesticide-free is possible, and adds immensely to the health and quality of life of people living in cities.

But the commitment of local and national authorities to reduce pesticide dependency is still lacking, as exemplified in the lack of setting reduction objectives in the national action plans. HEAL member Pesticide Action Network Europe has sent a letter to EU Health Commissioner Borg, who is responsible for pesticide issues, urging him to take action to ensure serious implementation of the pesticides directive.

Originally posted on 23 July 2013

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


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