The problems of weeds, insect life and fungi – and the products used to fight them – are about to receive fresh EU attention. The negative health impact and effect on species that are not targetted are the object of legislation being updated in the European Parliament. It is voting on new measures this Tuesday. The laws that regulate authorising new pesticide products entering the EU market today date from 1991. The revamp concerns the chemicals and agricultural industries, health care professionals, ecologist movements and the consumer.
A colossal killing off of bees – attributed to overexposure in by far the biggest pesticides importer France – has helped fuel the debate. One major goal is to reduce by one quarter the use of pesticides within five years, and by one half in ten years. Another key feature of the new laws will be to ban the use of pesticides in public parks and near waterways. Pesticide include herbicide, insecticide and fungicide.