EU pesticides regulation (SUR) under attacks from Member States & industry

The EU Pesticide Reduction proposal SUR has been under attack by lobbyists. They developed a strategy to delay and possibly derail the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation (SUR)-proposal and the attacks rapidly intensified since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine (and getting some political support) using the false argument of food security.

One of their demands has been taken over by the EU-presidency: a new and extra ‘impact assessment’, to be carried out by the European Commission. Ministers added an A-item on the agenda of the upcoming Energy Council held on 19 December 2022 to request this data. So, it is set to be adopted without political debate and formal vote. This decision with have potentially fatal implications for the EU’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies (in both EU strategies the 50% pesticide reduction is a core objective), as it could cause so much delay that the pesticide reduction proposal will not be negotiated, voted nor implemented at all before the 2024 EU elections.

The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) Save the Bees and Farmers, of which IFOAM Organics Europe is a member, sent today an open letter addressed to Ministers of Environment, Climate and Energy to call on them to ensure that this A-item will be withdrawn from the agenda and therefore not be adopted. The letter also highlights deepconcerns on the delays this additional assessment could trigger on this legislative period on urgent pesticide reduction and biodiversity restoration.

A second open letter signed by more than 600 scientists was also published today to express their deep concerns on the current attacks triggered by Member States and Members of the European Parliament against the SUR. They stress pesticides reduction objectives remain of utmost importance to stop and reverse the decline of biodiversity, as well as affirm the Potsdam Statement published in March 2022 is still very relevant. They also stress that “a food system transition is non-linear and disruptive by definition. While current modes of impact assessment may provide insights into short-term market impacts, they are incapable of projecting longer-term innovation and disruption, which the Green Deal aims for.”

NGOs are organising an event on 19 January at 9:00 AM in front of the building where the meeting will take place.

Documents on our recommendations for the SUR are available on our member extranet. Interested in becoming a member? Contact [email protected]

If you have any questions on the SUR, please contact [email protected]

The work of IFOAM Organics Europe on this topic is co-financed by the LIFE programme of the European Union, under the under the Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA). This publication only reflects the views of the authors and its sole responsibility lies with IFOAM Organics Europe. CINEA is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.

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