Parliament wants more action to reduce use of pesticides

The Parliament adopted on 27 March the Van Brempt report, calling for stricter measures to reduce the quantity of pesticides used in the Union. The MEPs, however, voted against a proposal to set a general 50 per cent reduction target for the next ten years.

With 239 votes to 192 (and 29 abstentions), the European Parliament adopted the report of rapporteurKathleen Van Brempt (PES, Belgium), on the Commission's Communication concerning a future thematic strategy on pesticides. The plenary session expressed its disappointment over the "lack of ambition" of the Commission's proposal and passed the following amendendments:

  • the upcoming thematic strategy (to be drawn up under the EU's 6th Environment Action Programme) should set clear goals and timetables for the Member States;
  • Member States should drop reduced VAT for pesticides;
  • producers and importers should assume responsibility for the recovery and safe disposal of all pesticide packaging, pesticides past their expiry date and revoked pesticide products, with a mandatory deposit-refund system.

The MEPs rejected a proposal to set a 50 per cent reduction target within the next ten years and voted down a demand from its Environment Committee to set a regulatory framework for taxes on pesticides. It also adopted an EPP amendment recognising the potential for reducing pesticide use or promoting more benign types of herbicides by introducing genetically modified plant varieties.

 

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