MEPs Call for Fast-Track Approval of Low-Risk Pesticides

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16 Feb 2017 --- Low-risk biological pesticides, including those made from bio-organisms, pheromones or essential oils, could replace conventional ones that are suspected of harming the environment and human health. MEPs are wondering why some member states hesitate or refuse to approve them and want the EU Commission to propose a revision of the rules to accelerate the approval process.

In a resolution voted on Wednesday 15th February, MEPs note that the use of conventional plant protection products is increasingly subject to public debate, due to the potential risks that they pose for human health, animals and the environment. Yet only seven active substances classified as “low risk” alternatives have been approved for use in the Union. 

MEPs point out that pesticide residues can be found in soil, water, and certain agricultural products. They say low-risk plant protection products may constitute a viable alternative and could contribute to more sustainable agriculture, in particular products of biological origin.

Moreover, some EU member states have refused to authorise these low-risk alternatives, owing to their perceived lower efficacy, without taking account either of their resource efficiency benefits for organic farming or of the environmental and health costs of other products.

MEPs call on the Commission to propose draft legislation before the end of 2018 in order to fast-track the evaluation, authorisation and registration of low-risk pesticides.

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