You raised your voice in the Save Bees and Farmers initiative. With 1.2 million Europeans, we gave a very important message: stop poisoning our environment and harming our health. We want farming to support biodiversity and work with nature instead of fighting it.
The Citizens' Initiative will soon enter the formal phase. At the same time, you can speak on other levels to increase the impact. The next opportunity is to give your opinion in an official consultation on the new EU pesticide reduction law. The Pesticide Action Network has built a tool to make it easier for you to speak out now!
Why do we have to act?
Our world is controlled by a powerful chemical lobby with strong allies. They make their profits with a toxic model of agriculture, at great cost for society. They tell us we can’t feed the world without poisoning it. But in every country there are farmers and scientists who show and prove this isn’t true. Intelligent and sensitive farming can reduce pesticides by 80%. Integrated pest management uses clever agronomic methods to prevent pests, has a series of techniques to correct problems and uses chemical only as a very last resort.
This is a completely different approach. The current dominant model of agriculture is based on killing. Kill everything you don’t like and reduce the world to only your favoured crop. But this model destroys biodiversity and poisons our environment. It pollutes water and strongly reduces soil fertility. It’s a dead-end street and won’t be able to produce food in the long run. The industrial farmers talk about food security, but there can be no food security without healthy soil, clean water and biodiversity.
To move away from the destructive chemical agriculture we must take back control from the chemical industry. The resources are there, but we have to make sure public money and research are used in the right way. Our world would be much healthier and biodiverse if farming subsidies in the EU (1/3 of the total budget!) are used in the right way, if the most toxic chemicals are banned, if less toxic pesticides are properly taxed, if the polluter pays the price that is now paid by society, if the polluter is prosecuted… This is a matter of wise political decisions. Together we can make this change. For us, our children and the generations to come.
Where are we with Save Bees and Farmers?
All but one EU countries have verified the ECI signatures. With 89% valid votes, we’re on the safe side. But we’re still waiting for the validation of the 587,000 German signatures. Germany asked the EU Commission for extra time for the answer and they now have till September 8.
Once we receive the formal result from Germany, we’ll deliver the statements of all 27 EU countries to the EU Commission. If the 1 million is reached, the organisers will be invited. Within one month there will be a formal reception by the EU Commission and within 3 months, there will be a hearing in the EU parliament.
This comes in a very important period. The EU has started discussions on a new law on pesticides that will decide how we handle them. The current proposal needs much more ambition. But it’s already under heavy attack by the chemical industry and the proponents of industrial farming. Many farmers still think the chemical approach is in their interest, but to give their children a future in farming they should change side. Let’s help them to free themselves from the chemical chains they’re in.
Take part in the EU consultation, let your voice be heard at many levels!
Glyphosate not related to cancer? Says who?
There is an important battle raging on about the most widely used biocide: glyphosate. This weedkiller harms the soil and our water. It’s omnipresent and can be found in rainwater and our urine. It has devastating effects on biodiversity, soil life, aquatic life, bee health and human health. The EU authorisation to use it ends in December 2022. Of course the producers want to continue their toxic profits.
One important point is the question if it can cause cancer. EU pesticide law says that if this is the case, it shouldn’t be re-authorised. Now the European Chemical Agency ECHA has repeated its earlier conclusion that it’s not carcinogenic. They contradict the World Cancer Institute IARC. Once more they neglect independent studies and still only listen to the faulty industry studies. Don’t be fooled: this is not a scientific discussion. This is politics and a prelude to continue the use of glyphosate. This very important battle will get into full swing in 2023. We will need your help to stop this. To be continued.
Support the court cases to ban the most toxic pesticides
In 2011 Europe decided to classify a group of chemicals as too dangerous for health and environment. They should not be used anymore. They should be substituted by less dangerous methods. A list was made and... nothing happened. The most toxic 54 are still in use, 11 years later. Why? The pesticide industry managed to convince authorities that there are no alternatives, so substitution is not possible. Their argument is: ‘If we ban this pesticide, we will lose the battle against pests and food production will suffer’. The authorities give in, and year after year the authorisations are renewed and none of these dangerous chemicals is banned. Now the Pesticide Action Network has started to challenge these decisions in court. Until recently this wasn’t possible. After complaints the rules were changed in 2021 and environmental organisations now have access to court. Read more here.
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Thanks a lot!
Have a nice day,
The ECI team