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Action on pesticide reductions facing ‘strong political headwinds’

category national | environment | press release author Wednesday February 24, 2021 11:20author by foie - Friends of the Irish Environment Report this post to the editors

Press Release - Friends of the Irish Environment 22nd Feb 2021

Call on public to support EU ‘Citizens Initiative’ on pesticides facing ‘strong political headwinds’
5878 more signatures required on pesticides Initiative for Ireland to reach its threshold

Ireland remains almost 6,000 signatures short of the required number to reach its threshold in an EU Citizens Initiative calling for greater control of pesticides.

The Initiative comes as the goal of a 50% reduction phasing out the use pesticides by 2030 is ‘facing strong political headwinds’, according to the environmental charity Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE]

The Initiative requires 1,000,000 signatures with seven countries reaching the required threshold. The threshold is the number of the Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by the total number of Members of the European Parliament. Ireland’s target is thus 8,261 signatures, but only 2,383 have signed so far.

Almost 500,000 signatures have been recorded across the EU so far.

The proposal for reduction has come under attack from the industry as ‘unscientific, overly ambitious and unrealistic for EU farmers to achieve’. The industry also claims it would weaken the competitiveness of European agricultural products.

According to FIE, ‘The goals to protect biodiversity set in the European Green Deal are under serious pressure. This has recently become apparent in negotiations on the Common European Agricultural Policy (CAP) as Member States strongly influenced by the agro-chemical industry have decided to reject the Commission’s proposal to link agricultural subsidies to the reduction of pesticide use.’

‘The European Citizens' Initiative is a unique way for the public to support the Commission against those Member States who oppose reductions in the use of pesticides. Once an initiative has reached 1 million signatures, the Commission will decide on what action to take. [1]

A growing number of scientific studies show that currently authorised pesticides are harming humans, animals, and the environment. Findings include contributing to IQ loss in the European population [2], association with haematological cancer, particularly in children [3], cumulative dietary risk through residues of pesticides [4], and the catastrophic decline of insects [5], including pollinators important for food production [6].

MCPA, the most frequently detected pesticide in Ireland, accounted for around 80% of all pesticide detections between 2007 and 2018. According to Irish Water, even the foil cap from a MCPA pesticide container is enough to cause an exceedance in a 30km stretch of stream. [7]

Sign the Initiative
https://www.savebeesandfarmers.eu/eng

Contact: Caroline Lewis, 087 2176316

Editors Notes
[1] https://europa.eu/citizens-initiative/thresholds_en
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25742515
[3] https://europepmc.org/article/med/30903760
[4] https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6392
[5] https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0185809
[6] https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms12459
[7] https://www.water.ie/news/pesticide-exceedances-con/
Copyright © 2021 Friends of the Irish Environment, All rights reserved.
Press Release

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Eyeries, Cork P75 CX53
Ireland

Related Link: https://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/press-releases/17945-call-on-public-to-support-eu-citizens-initiative-on-pesticides-facing-strong-political-headwinds
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