Crop Biotech Update

European Parliament Votes to Limit Pesticide Use

January 16, 2009

The European Parliament voted to ban some 22 pesticides deemed as dangerous to the human health and the environment. The EU lawmakers passed two laws that will force farmers and chemical producers to replace the “cancer-causing” products over the next decade.

The move has garnered the support of numerous organizations. Hiltrud Breyer, the German MEP who steered the measure in Parliament said that the  agreement is not only a milestone for the protection of both the environment and the consumer: it marks an historical moment. She further commented that this agreement is the first of its kind in the whole world and that Europe is a pioneer on a global scale.

Farmers, however, warned that the ban could devastate crops yields, prompting increase in food prices. An article by Science said that farmers are worried that any reduction in available pesticides will accelerate the development of resistance among plant pests and pathogens to the remaining agents. A report by the Press Association said that the UK government, which opposes the move, will vote against the plan when it comes up for approval by EU governments. Several scientists have also signed a petition against the new rules.

Read the article published by Science at http://blogs.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2009/01/european-pestic.html A short article from the European Parliament is available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/public/story_page/008-45731-005-01-02-901-20090108STO45591-2009-05-01-2009/default_en.htm