Numerous pesticides and hazardous chemicals are banned at the European Union level in order to protect human health and the environment. Yet these same products are currently produced and exported by EU companies to third countries where safety regulations are generally weaker and less strictly implemented. For instance, in 2018 alone, more than 81,000 tonnes of pesticides containing 41 different hazardous chemicals banned on EU agriculture fields, were exported to be used in other countries.
On 14 October 2020, the European Commission presented its Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, where it promised to “lead by example, and, in line with international commitments, ensure that hazardous chemicals banned in the European Union are not produced for export, including by amending relevant legislation if and as needed.” However, in October of this year, the European Commission shared its Work Programme for 2023 and it still does not include the promised action to stop these exports.
The European institutions and Member States need to take urgent action, and here is why and how it can be done.
This conference gathers key actors from across the world to share their concerns on the impacts that European exports of pesticides and hazardous chemicals have in third countries. It aims to urge European policymakers to open their eyes to the repercussions of such discriminatory practices and take action.
09:15 – 10:45 Session 1 The EU’s exports of banned pesticides and their impacts on importing countries
Opening by the Chair Session 1, Eva Corral, The European Environmental Bureau, Senior Policy officer for Pesticide and Water pollution(5 mins)
Introduction by Dr. Marcos A. Orellana, United Nations Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights(prerecorded video) (5 mins)
“The impact of pesticides on farmworkers in Africa” (10mins)
Mopholosi Morokong, IUF, Occupational Health and Safety Officer for Africa (online)
“The EU’s-banned pesticide exports” (10 mins)
Laurent Gaberell, Public Eye, Agriculture and food expert, Switzerland
“Main findings of a new study on exports of banned pesticides from Belgium” (5 mins)
Jonas Jaccard, SOS Faim/Pesticide coalition, Advocacy Officer, Belgium
“The voices of the impacted communities” (25 mins)