Thursday, March 23, 2023

Spain continues to use pesticides that are banned because of their harm to health and nature

Several EU countries, including Spain, continue to allow the use of the chain. insecticides despite the fact that its prohibition has been ordered due to its recognized risks to health and the environmentAccording to a report by Pan Europe, an organization dedicated to the fight against pesticides and which brings together several EU institutions.

According to the docs, this situation is possible, due to A gap in regulations that allows “exceptions” to continue using these substances in emergency situations (perceived or real)due to which a “widespread abuse” in some cases. The result is that such prohibited substances “may continue to be present in our food, posing its inherent risks as well as harming the environment,” according to Carlos de Prada, head of the initiative. non toxic houseWhich cooperates with Pan Europe.

For Carlos de Prada, “it is unacceptable to continue authorizing the use of pesticides that were banned precisely because of their risks to human health and/or the environment”, adding that “The abuse of so-called emergency exceptions by some countries must end”Since these are toxic substances that have been linked to effects such as carcinogenic, mutagenic, genotoxic, or serious harm to the environment (for example, the case of substances very toxic to bees), among other risks.

13 authorities in Spain

The Pan Europe report shows that 236 emergency authorizations were granted in the EU between 2019 and 2022 for 14 pesticide active ingredients out of 24 substances the organization examined. Of the 27 EU countries, 24 have provided the insult. The one that has approved the most authorizations is Austria (with 20), followed by Finland (18), Denmark (17) and Romania (16). Spain ranks eighth in the list of countries that have granted the most authorizations with 13 authorizations followed by Belgium and Poland.

Farmer spraying pesticide agencies

In the opinion of Pan Europe, what should have been something extraordinary would have become a “false door” allowing the use of prohibited substances. The organization also deplores that the pesticide industry is the main petitioner for granting such “exceptions”, supposedly in the interests of farmers.

Furthermore, he points out In most cases member states authorize them to be duly shown without an “emergency”. This would justify them, as well as the alleged non-existence of non-chemical alternatives (despite the fact that both are prescriptive conditions for these extraordinary authorizations to be granted).

According to Pan Europe, “States and the European Commission turn a blind eye to this type of practice which is not justified from an agronomic point of view”, which It is meant to give industry a “blank check” to keep toxic pesticides banned on the market.

The Pan Europe report cites as an example of irregularities shown by the opinion of the Spanish ombudsman in 2021, which criticized the Ministry of Agriculture for granting exceptions to allow the use of certain substances without real or perceived justification. “Emergency”.

accounted for almost half of the “insults” given in the EU neonicotinoid insecticides (47.5%)are known for their damage to populations of pollinating insects. dicot herbicide It is the second substance in the number of exceptions given (48 in total). It is an endocrine-disrupting substance that was banned because of its risks to human health and cannot be used to deter any pests, but in clear violation of regulations, for the controversial “drying of grain”. can be done for That is, instead of waiting for the sun to dry crops at harvest, use herbicides extensively on them, even if this is at the cost of increasing the level of contamination with their residues.

EU allows exceptions for banned pesticides agencies

is the third substance in the ranking Highly Toxic Soil Fumigant 1,3-Dichloropropene, with 30 extraordinary authorizations, has never been approved in the EU. This extremely dangerous substance is used in monocultures of fruits and vegetables to destroy not only potential pests, but practically all forms of life in the upper layer of the soil, including beneficial ones. It is mainly used in Southern Europe (Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece). Other examples of restricted hazardous substances receiving “emergency” authorization include chlorpyrifosbanned in 2019, harmful to the child’s brain, or MancozebBanned in 2020 and linked to fetal toxicity.

Concentration of authorities in Murcia

“Emergency” authorizations for 1,3-dichloropropene have been granted mainly to pesticide companies. In Spain, however, they were granted to the Directorate of Agriculture of the Region of Murcia, a public authority that represents no less than 20% of all EU offenses for this substance, The organization justified this by claiming that some intensive farming systems support pests such as some nematodes and fungi, without considering the adoption of alternative systems.

According to Pan Europe, The exceptions granted to various substances “are not in line with EU law, as they are not supported by a true emergency”. that justifies them. Furthermore, in all cases there are non-chemical or less toxic chemical alternatives, which once again calls into question the legality of what is being done.

Reference study:


Contact the Environment Section: [email protected]

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