To reduce pesticides, European Parliament calls for binding targets

For the time being, this is only a request, albeit an urgent one. The European Parliament on Wednesday 20 October urged the Commission to “Binding objectives” reduction in pesticides, as part of its food strategy for the European Union to 2030 aimed at reducing the use of pesticides and fertilizers and increasing organic farming.

“MEPs insisted on the need for a more sustainable food supply chain at all levels and reaffirmed that all actors – from farmers to consumers – have a role to play”, has explained, in a press release, the European Parliament.

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The text submitted to the vote of MEPs in Strasbourg gathered 452 votes in favor, ie all of those from environmentalists and almost all of those elected from the left. On the other hand, 170 MEPs voted against, including French elected representatives from the European People’s Party (EPP, right), as well as from the far-right Identity and Democracy group and that of the Eurosceptics, Conservatives and European Reformists (CRE). The French Anne Sander (PPE) had denounced a strategy ” not acceptable “ who “Risk of sacrificing our food autonomy and the future of our farmers”. In addition, 76 abstained, mainly from the EPP and the CRE group.

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The “farm-to-table” strategy was unveiled in May 2020 by the European Commission, which has yet to make legislative proposals on the subject. The European Parliament is due to vote in November on the future common agricultural policy (CAP), which for the time being does not include the objectives of this strategy.

For the end of cage farming

This plan aims, by the 2030 deadline, to reduce the use of pesticides by half and that of fertilizers by 20%, to reduce the sales of antimicrobials for farm animals by 50% and to devote a quarter from cultivated land to organic farming. The European agricultural organizations COPA and Cogeca have sounded the alarm on a risk of yield collapse.

To limit the impact on farmers’ incomes, the European Parliament asked the Commission to“Intensifies[r] its efforts – including by adapting competition rules – to strengthen the position of farmers in the supply chain ”.

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The text voted on also claims “Measures to reduce overconsumption of meat” and the gradual disappearance of cage farming. “We are proposing concrete measures to bring our food system back to the limits of our planet”, commented the radical left-wing Dutch MEP Anja Hazekamp, ​​rapporteur of the text for the European Parliament’s environment committee.

The World with AFP

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To reduce pesticides, European Parliament calls for binding targets