ENVI Committee meets on the EU pesticides ban export

In March 2021, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI Committee) gathered to discuss several pressing issues, including a ban on pesticides export.

On 23 March 2021, the DG SANTE, discussed during the ENVI committee meeting the regulation on EU pesticides ban export. Currently, pesticides banned in the EU can be found in products that the EU imports from third countries, where pesticides regulation is different. As a result, banned pesticides in the EU circulate within the 27 member states. Although 72 countries signed the Rotterdam’s Convention, which is a global agreement on pesticides and chemicals regulation, the EU law in this regard is more restrictive according to Jürgen Hellbig, senior Expert on Chemicals advising the DG ENV.

MEPs pointed out the “tolerance 0” on pesticides within this regulation: third countries do not insure the same level of food safety as in the EU. In addition, trade agreements, such as the Mercosur, also do not guarantee the same risk assessment level between the EU 27 states and other countries.

Emphasis was also given to banned chemicals produced inside the EU that are being used by third countries. In November 2020, 70 NGOs urged in an Open Letter to the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, to prohibit the export of banned pesticides and the import of food with these same banned pesticides.

The recording of the full session is available here.

Previous ArticleNext Article