A piece of somewhat better news

European Parliament held a vote on pesticides in Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) in the middle of June. According to the current regulation Nitrogen fixing crops can be counted as EFAs, even without any specific controls on pesticides, making them pointless from the environmental point of view. The Commission thus decided to rectify this situation with a delegated act banning use of pesticides in all EFAs – something that should be seen as completely natural.

The Parliament’s COMAGRI decided however to block this move, as also was written in the previous post on this blog. In order to veto the Commission’s delegated act the Parliament would need an absolute majority. All the major European environmental NGOs did their best to avoid this nasty thing happening. People wrote, phoned, tweeted and used all possible means to reach out to the MEPs. I did my bit as well of course.
The vote was close. Actually there was a simple majority for continued use of pesticides in EFAs but in order to repeal the delegated act an absolute majority was required. It did not materialise luckily even though the actual vote was only a bit more that ten short of the absolute majority. The delegated act prohibiting use of pesticides in EFAs can now take hold – a small step in right direction.
The environmental NGOs can sigh a relief. The decision however is only about a small proportion of all EU agricultural land, on most of it the “poisoning as usual” can go on. In order to seriously deal with risks to our health and environment caused by the pesticides we need a radical reform of the CAP.

Author: Aleksei Lotman

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