Members of the European Parliament voted against the draft text for a Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation (SUR), following a substantial hollowing out of the draft law. This is worrying news for health.
Today at the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), voted on the draft proposal for a Sustainable use of Pesticides Regulation (SUR) and the non-binding objection to the renewal of the widely used pesticide glyphosate. While the objection for non-renewal of glyphosate failed, the SUR was adopted, but in order to truly protect health more ambition is needed.
HEAL welcomes MEPs taking the negotiations forward on EU pesticide reduction to better protect people and the environment, in view of the heavy disease burden and impact on current and future generations. However, today’s ENVI vote comes with a price tag: in order to keep the SUR going, the ambition was weakened, especially when it comes to ensuring no harm to children and vulnerable groups.
“Pollution, including from hazardous pesticides, is a major risk factor for people’s health. Health groups are dismayed at the unnecessary politicisation of a topic – pesticide reduction – which is important for protecting the health of people across the EU, and for protecting the very foundations upon which we depend upon. People in Europe will pay a high price for this tiptoeing on pesticide reduction” Anne Stauffer, Deputy Director and Strategic Lead at HEAL comments.
HEAL regrets the outcome of the ENVI committee vote on the proposed resolution objecting to the renewal of pesticide active substance glyphosate. It is in contradiction with the European Parliament 2017 call for a glyphosate phase-out within five years (by 2022), which was an important contribution towards the EU’s target for reduced use of and dependency on hazardous pesticides.
“The ENVI committee’s failed objection to the renewal of Glyphosate is not in line with the longtime European Parliament demand for a full phase-out of the substance as part of the European effort to outline a path towards reduced dependency on harmful pesticides. HEAL continues to call on European and national decision-makers to acknowledge the state of the science regarding the negative and irreversible health harms associated with exposure to glyphosate and to support its phase-out as soon as possible.” Natacha Cingotti, Health and Chemicals Programme Lead, HEAL states.
The next months are crucial, and will determine how heavy a health toll pesticides will be allowed to take on Europeans. The Parliament needs to ensure a SUR that will protect nature and prevent disease is adopted without delay, and the EU governments need to prioritise their citizens and vote for a non-renewal of glyphosate in the upcoming votes in November.
For more information, and comments contact: Nea Pakarinen, Senior Communications and Media Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org