A move to ban pesticides on areas of farms dedicated to nature conservation has shamefully been shot down by a strong majority of MEPs on Parliament’s Agriculture committee this morning. And in another blow to the environment, some MEPs on the agriculture committee attempted to push for increasing the use of processed animal manure as a fertiliser – despite the fact that excessive spreading of manure runs off fields, contaminating rivers, waterways, and air.
The EEB strongly criticises the result of these two votes.
The EEB is Europe’s largest network of environmental organisations with 141 members in 33 countries.
EEB Policy Manager for Agriculture and Bioenergy, Faustine Bas-Defossez said:
“Banning pesticide use on very modest areas of farmland which can be dedicated to nature conservation in exchange for green direct payments should be a no-brainer. To make matters worse the same MEPs who shot down this proposal have made an attempt to attack a crucial piece of EU environmental law which protects us from fertilisers’ pollution so they can pave the way for more investment in the livestock and dairy sectors.
“Given the increasing evidence on the dramatic consequences of pesticide use on our pollinators as well as on our own health and the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence that links overuse of fertilisers to dramatic environmental consequences as well as respiratory diseases and premature death, the Agriculture committee’s actions are shameful. These MEPs pretend to represent farmers’ interests but they are actually showing flagrant disregard for citizens, their health, the environment, and farmers’ long-term ability to produce food.”
All MEPs will be asked to accept or reject the ban on pesticides in an all-Parliament vote in June.
Faustine Bas-Defossez added:
“Earlier this month over 258,000 people called for EU farm policy to protect our climate and environment, support farmers and rural communities, and safeguard public health. For those MEPs that do stand up for a truly sustainable future of farming and citizens, today’s vote should be a wakeup call that they must make their voices heard at June’s plenary vote and during negotiations on the next reform of farm policy. Otherwise they will be drowned out by a group of MEPs intent on defending the vested interests of the agri-establishment at all costs.”