Maribor, 23rd June 2008 - Today Ministers of Agriculture from all EU member states decide about their common position about relevant legislation on pesticides. Before this meeting of ministers, NGO experts from 11 European countries* discussed main improvements on proposals of new legislation on international 2 day workshop held in Maribor in Slovenia.
The NGO representatitves are very concerned that up to now pesticide products authorized in EU can contain very hazardous active ingredients which impact our food and water. There is a big chance today to improve this situation. The European Commission proposed draft legislation to stop, among others, further exposure of food and people to these active ingredients of very high concern, such as cancerogenic, mutagenic, endocrine disruptors and reprotoxic. There was a strong agreement by the European Parliament and other stakeholders to support these proposals.
Susanne Smolka, representative of Pesticide Action Network (PAN Germany) pointed out: »We welcome and support the proposal to set so called cut off criteria to make sure that such hazardous pesticides won't be used in the future. We hope that all agriculture ministers of member states support this proposal in their common position.«
Another relevant proposed improvement which was discussed in the workshop held in Maribor on 19th and 20th June organised by PAN Germany and ECHo from Slovenia, is a step wise risk reduction by substituting very hazardous pesticides with less hazardous ones. Mojca Langerholc Žgeč, president of NGO ECHo said »This step wise substitution will reduce exposure to hazardous pesticides continuosly for humans and the environment. Today 45,09%** of analysed samples of food in Slovenia are contaminated with pesticide residues. We have to change this and believe now is critical time to make this change.«
The MEPs have a voting on these important issues in Autumn 2008.
For further information contact:
Susanne Smolka (English, German), e-mail: susanne.smolka (at) pan-germany.org
Mojca Langerholc Žgeč (Slovene, English), e-mail: mojca.zgec (at) ech-o.org