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Pesticides and health policy update - March 2010

Pesticides and health Policy developments - An overview of policy developments in the EU. For more information please contact Anne Stauffer,

On 23rd February, The European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) discussed the draft report on the EU Biocides law by rapporteur Christa Klass (PPE, Germany). In the debate, Members of the ENVI Committee stressed the need to improve the Commission proposal and the rapporteurís draft report to better protect health and the environment.

On 10th February the UK government launched a public consultation on the implementation of the EU Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides. HEAL welcomes this consultation as it could help to create a new approach to pesticide management in the UK, especially when it comes to establishing pesticide-free areas and supporting substitution. The deadline for comments is 4 May.

HEALís action on pesticides and health

HEAL together with Pesticide Action Network and other partners sent a letter to MEPs before the Biocides discussion, urging them to introduce changes to ensure the comprehensive phasing-out of hazardous substances, a low-risk approach without loopholes, the better protection of vulnerable groups, and other crucial issues. The ENVI Committee is scheduled to vote on the draft report at the end of April. Read the joint NGO letter here.

Your Action

Have your say: The public consultation on the implementation of the EU Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides has the potential to lay down the ground work for an overhaul and re-evaluation of the way in which the use of pesticides is controlled in the UK. The Consultation will run from 9th February until the 4th May 2010 and is open to anyone to make comments and suggestions. The details of the consultation can be found here.

The Directive gives a number of options for the UK Government that could lead to greater protection for people and the environment if adopted,

Proposed measures include:

- implementing a system of prior notification to inform residents before pesticide spraying begins;

- a ban on pesticide use in areas frequented by vulnerable groups such as schools, hospitals and playgrounds;

- and the promotion of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

More information and articles on pesticides and health:

- Parliament Magazine Article: MEP Corinne Lepage on MDRGF court case on Pesticides in Wine

- UNMC researchers say farm chemicals may pose cancer risk

- Under-active thyroid linked to pesticide exposure

- Panel has concerns over use of a pesticide in California

- Report: GM crops failing to tackle climate change. 10% drop in genetically modified crops grown in Europe.

- Monsanto admits failure on Bt cotton The ongoing debate on genetically engineered (GE) crops in India took a new turn when U.S. seed and pesticide firm Monsanto disclosed that the pink bollworm, a major cotton pest, has developed resistance to its Bt cotton, according to India Today.

Written on 23 March 2010.



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Community guide to pesticide reduction


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UK survey: which pesticides are present in your school ?