European Union: EU lawmakers reject proposal to cut the use of chemical pesticides by 50% by 2030 newsbhunt


BRUSSELS: European Union lawmakers on Wednesday rejected a plan to reduce the use of chemical pesticides by 50% by 2030 and to ban all pesticide use in areas such public parks, playgrounds and schools.
After a series of amendments watered down the proposal of the EU’s executive Commission, the bill was rejected in a 299 to 207 vote, with 121 abstentions. It buried the bill for good and any new proposal would need to start from scratch after June elections for members of the European Parliament.
“This is a bitter blow for the protection of the environment and public health. To put it bluntly, the majority of MEPs put the profits of big agri over the health of our children and the planet,” said Sarah Wiener, a Green lawmaker who was rapporteur for the proposal.
“There is not going to be a new sustainable use of pesticides regulation,” Wiener said.
The European Commission said last year that current rules limiting the use of pesticides were too weak and had not been applied consistently across the EU.
The EU’s main agricultural group, COPA-COGECA, welcomed the rejection of the bill and called for an improved dialogue between farmers and the 27-nation bloc’s institutions.
“Let’s not forget that this proposal was ideological from the outset, with no connection to the realities of agriculture, proposing unrealistic transitions without the necessary funding,” the group said. “Let’s not forget that all this polarization could have been avoided and solutions found without the ideological obstinacy of a few decision-makers.”
As part of its plan to become climate neutral by 2050, the European Union has adopted a wide range of measures, from reducing energy consumption to sharply cutting transportation emissions and reforming the EU’s trading system for greenhouse gases. But with next year’s elections for the European Parliament looming, some leaders and lawmakers are concerned about antagonizing voters with binding legislation and restrictive requirements.
Madeleine Coste, a campaigner with the Slow Food organization promoting biodiversity and support for small-scale farmers, rued that “a majority in the Parliament has decided to side with the agroindustry and its allies, who have lobbied against this proposal over the last two years, ignoring the scientific consensus on the need to transform our current food system.”


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