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.
HEAL is a supporting organisation of the European Citizens’ Initiative “Save Bees and Farmers”, that launched in November 2019 with a vision of a pesticide-free Europe. The petition asks the European Commission and EU Parliament to reform the current EU agricultural policy to better protect health, save bees and support farmers to transition.
The use of synthetic pesticides and the consequences are clear: bees, butterflies and other insects are vanishing from our landscapes, Europe’s streams and rivers are being polluted and farmers, communities and consumers alike are being exposed to a daily cocktail of chemicals. Some of these chemicals are known or suspected to cause cancer or seriously disrupt our hormone system, and the most vulnerable in our society are affected most.
The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) initiative aims to create an agricultural landscape in Europe which enables bees and farmers to thrive in a healthy environment for the benefit of all. Together the goal is to collect at least one million signatures to save bees and farmers in Europe.
HEAL, along with a broad alliance of civil society organisations, grassroots movements, beekeepers organisations, local citizens’ initiatives, farming groups and environmental scientists, asks for EU legislative measures to:
- Completely phase-out pesticides by 2035, tackling the most hazardous substances within two years and achieving 80% by 2030
- Restore biodiversity, particularly natural habitats in agricultural areas
- Support farmers in the transition towards a bee-friendly agriculture by prioritising small scale, diverse and sustainable farming