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Sustainable use of pesticides: One-year delay in publishing European Commission report




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pesticideThe European Commission has taken a full year in submitting a report to the Parliament and the Council on increased use of alternatives for pest and disease control. 

The Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) foresees that the European Commission submits a report to the Parliament and the Council informing on member states’ quantitative objectives, targets, measures and timetables for implementation in a move from pesticide dependent pest management to sustainable integrated pest management by 26 November 2014 (1). It is now 26 November 2015 a full year on and the report has still not been published.

Several analyses undertaken by PAN Europe have shown that member states’ ambition to reduce reliance on pesticide use is low, especially in the agricultural sector (2).

The Food and Veterinary Office, the EU body controlling the implementation of the SUD in member states, confirms this conclusion. The two audits undertaken in 2015, in Austria and Italy[1], both conclude: "There is no system to verify that all professional users implement the general principles of IPM as required by Article 14 of Directive 2009/128/EC." This is a serious delay as this was meant to be applied as from January 2014.

PAN Europe and IBMA have a long tradition on working on the SUD, including for the last four years jointly organizing an SUD symposium aiming at showing why serious implementation is needed (4). PAN Europe and IBMA call on the European Commission to take a proactive approach to ensure a solid implementation of the SUD in the near future.

Wyn Grant, university professor from the University of Warwick, who addressed this years SUD symposium said: '"The progress being made is disappointing and a new impetus is needed," to which Henriette Christensen PAN Europe added: “the European Commission is the watcher of the EU legislation if they do not dare to reinforce EU regulation on pesticides, what is it all worth?"

This doubt is also questioned by IBMA, with David Cary stating: “Innovative solutions need innovative regulation but it has to be enacted and enforced!” and Willem Ravensberg continuing: “IPM is proven to be working in many cropping systems, what is keeping broader adoption from occurring?”.



(1) According to article 4 of Directive 128/2009/EC establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides



(4) This symposium was organised jointly by International Biocontrol Manufacturer Association (IBMA), International Organisation for Biocontrol (IOBC) EuroCoop, Pesticide Action Network Europe and Greenpeace, all presentations and the conclusions are available here.

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