Export ban on pesticides

Despite its commitments, the absence of regulation by the European Commission on the export of pesticides produced in Europe but banned for use on its territory has triggered strong mobilizations.

In 2018, an investigation by NGOs Public Eye and Unearthed revealed that for that year alone, over 81,000 tons of pesticides containing 41 different chemicals banned for use on European Union soils were exported to third countries. In addition to being harmful to the environment and populations in these countries, often in developing ones, these substances return as residues in food imported into Europe.

Despite a commitment by the European Commission (EC) dating back to 2020 to end these exports in its Chemicals Sustainability Strategy, as of late 2022, it still did not plan to amend the PIC Regulation that governs the export of certain hazardous chemicals.

To push for change, 327 civil society organizations worldwide sent a joint declaration to the European Commission demanding an end to these exports and respect for European commitments. At the same time, a petition addressed to the European Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevičius, was launched and has now garnered almost 300,000 signatures.

The EC launched a consultation on this issue in mid-2023, but still needs to formulate a concrete proposal afterwards. A new open letter addressed to Ursula Von der Leyen and the European Commissioner for the Environment, signed by 87 organizations, urges them to take urgent action against the export of such pesticides.

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