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PAN Europe: Proposal for a new EU Common plant health regime lacks environmental and public health considerations

Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe) welcomes that EU Member States will establish proper survey programmes as part of a proposal for an updated EC Common plant health regime. Yet, it is a missed opportunity not to highlight what kind of actions might contribute to prevention. The reform proposal fails to target environmental and public health concerns with no plan to establish what can be done to ensure less use of pesticides.

The new proposal aims at ensuring that ‘new’ pests are being discovered and eradicated at an early stage to reduce the spreading possibilities. While PAN Europe welcomes the idea of national survey programmes, there should be a full integration of these into the actions already foreseen in the Sustainable Use Directive as well as proper national pest and pesticide surveillance systems with for example monitoring capabilities and an expert panel for biological control.

Furthermore, PAN Europe proposes that rather than compensating operators for the value of destroyed plant-which could mean spraying a lot of hazardous pesticides- it would instead be more logical to transfer part of this extra funding to the agri-environmental scheme of the Common Agricultural Policy, in order to encourage farmers to develop more resilient systems, less vulnerable to potential pest attack in the first place.

Originally posted on 7 June 2013

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