Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Home EUC Fewer chemicals in agriculture can only be achieved with new products

Fewer chemicals in agriculture can only be achieved with new products

The Agriculture Ministers of most EU countries find the Commission's proposal to halve the use of chemicals in agriculture within a few years completely insufficient. They believe that the calculation method ('iedereen half less') is unfair for countries that have already reduced their use a lot, or already use very little. 

The offered easing ('EU average minus-35%') does not help farmers in those countries either, the ministers say. Many LNV ministers also fear a total ban on 'vulnerable gebieden', while it is not yet clear which gebieden these will be. In addition, it is still nowhere specified how or what exactly will be measured: in kilograms of chemicals, or use-per-hectare, or kilograms use per gross product. 

Almost all EU member states fear a drop in yield if chemical pesticides are halved. They asked Monday in the EU agricultural council for an entirely new impact assessment. Other countries called for an 'update' of the figures, mainly because the nitrogen rules became even more concrete in the nature restoration plans of June. 

EU agriculture commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski showed some understanding for that criticism afterwards. In the EU Member States, the annual amount of active substance used varies between 9 and 0.5 kilos per hectare, Wojciechowski explained. The Agriculture Commissioner believes that a fair solution must be found in negotiations between the Commission, Councils of Ministers and the European Parliament.

In fact, it is only Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands that fully support the current Green Deal plans for making agriculture more sustainable. Acting LNV minister Carola Schouten also stated in her recent annotated letter to parliament that limiting chemicals without agricultural loss will only be possible if new techniques (crispr-cas?) and new natural fertilizers are allowed.

'The EU Commission must also dare to look at its own legislation for this and remove the distinction between the use of artificial fertilizers and high-quality fertilizers from reclaimed sources,' the Netherlands believes.

EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides says the European Commission is ready to compromise on the computational model and on the total ban on 'vulnerable' gebieden. However, the EU committee does not want to give up its proposal. The regulation for 'less chemistry and more organic' is not established by the LNV ministers and the agriculture committee, but by the Environment Council and the ENVI environment committee. 

Commissioner Wojciechowski has already said that the European Commission will present the long-awaited proposal for new GMO techniques in agriculture and horticulture by the middle of next year. Because many EU member states (such as Spain and France) say that they only want to talk about 'less chemistry' if there are 'sufficient alternative crop protection agents available', the Council of Ministers will probably link the two files by the middle of next year.


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