Pesticides

Agrifood 04-03-2020

Controversial risk indicator to be basis for pesticide reduction targets

The latest draft of the EU's Farm to Fork strategy (F2F), obtained by EURACTIV, specifies that mandatory targets for the reduction of use and risk of synthetic chemical pesticides will be established using the existing Harmonised Risk Indicator 1 (HRI1), whose suitability was contested in the past.
Agrifood 28-02-2020

Nitrate pollution linked to agriculture, says new study

While Germany is set on tightening its fertiliser regulation after the EU Commission sued the country for excessive nitrate levels in groundwater, a new study has linked agriculture and particularly animal fattening with groundwater pollution. Could the European Commission drop its lawsuit against Germany? EURACTIV Germany reports.
Agrifood 27-02-2020

Agricultural drones are gradually ‘taking off’ in France

France is experimenting with drones as a means of spraying pesticides so that by 2021 it may launch the practice as it could lead to more precise treatments, as well as a reduction in the use of phytosanitary products. EURACTIV France reports.
Agrifood 25-02-2020

Could robot weeders be the solution to France’s pesticide problem?

As farmers are urged to reduce their use of plant protection products, they are forced to take on manual weeding, a tedious task for which manpower is hard to find. But could so-called 'robot weeders' provide a solution to this problem? EURACTIV France reports.
Agrifood 20-02-2020

Commission wants ‘realistic targets’ for pesticide, fertilisers cuts- Kyriakides

Speaking before the parliamentary committee on the Environment (ENVI), Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides confirmed that the new EU food policy, the Farm 2 Fork Strategy (F2F), will feature legislative actions too and that there will be specific targets for the reduction of both risk and use of pesticides.

Fact-check: Germany is EU’s fifth-worst offender, with 76 infringement proceedings

Last week, the European Commission initiated three new infringement proceedings against Germany for failing to implement EU law, bringing the total to 76. But even though this may seem like a lot, Berlin is by far not the EU's worst offender. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Agrifood 14-02-2020

DG AGRI backs new breeding techniques for pest management

Tasos Haniotis, the deputy director-general at European Commission's DG AGRI, views new breeding techniques as a way to manage pests in agriculture, according to a leaked document seen by EURACTIV.com.
Agrifood 13-02-2020

Fact-check : Are Germany’s nitrate levels false?

The European Commission sued Germany before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for excessive nitrate levels in groundwater. Yet, with critics harping on about Germany's measuring methods, can it be said that Germany is deliberately sending the EU its worst water values? EURACTIV Germany does a fact-check.
Agrifood 11-02-2020

Europe aims to make its food a global green standard, despite trade concerns

Ahead of a much-anticipated ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy to accompany the EU Green Deal, some EU policymakers say Europe’s food should be protected from American pressure.
Agrifood 06-02-2020

Integrated pest management should be linked to CAP payments, say auditors

The European Commission has been unable to adequately measure and reduce either the effects or the risks from pesticides due to a lack of rigorous and suitable data, according to a new report from the European Court of Auditors, released on Wednesday (5 January). 
Agrifood 05-02-2020

French Court of Auditors sounds the alarm on use of phytosanitary products

In 2018 alone, the French government spent €400 million to reduce the use of pesticides, even though their use ended up increasing. France's public auditor is criticising the situation and calling on integrating agro-ecological transition objectives into the CAP. EURACTIV France reports.
Agrifood 05-02-2020

‘New GMOs’: Kyriakides gets off on wrong foot with biased consultation

The new EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides recently told EURACTIV.com that her “priority is to gather more information” on gene editing. To this end, she said, "we will be preparing a study on new genomic techniques, foreseen for spring 2021”. Clearly, the design and set-up of such a study will be crucial to its outcome, writes Nina Holland.
Agrifood 05-02-2020

German fertiliser regulation amendment ignites spat between government ministers

After the European Commission rejected previous drafts amending Germany's fertiliser regulation, the agriculture ministry announced it would send a final draft to Brussels this week, but the environment minister was full of criticism at her cabinet colleague. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Agrifood 03-02-2020

Renew Europe vows to break ‘taboos’ in EU agriculture

The centrist Renew Europe group in the European Parliament aims to “break taboos” in the agricultural sector, according to one of its Czech deputies, Martin Hlaváček.
Agrifood 31-01-2020

German farmers reject government’s €1 billion ‘consolation prize’ for stricter fertiliser regulations

Germany's grand coalition wants to support agriculture with €1 billion when stricter fertiliser regulations come into force soon. Farmers, however, are outraged, as they are demanding political action instead of money. Yet, the clock is ticking in Brussels and hefty fines are imminent. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Agrifood 31-01-2020

Fighting fire with fire: pest control by playing nature at its own game

Biological pesticides are rapidly gaining attention as a sustainable and viable environmentally friendly alternative to chemical pesticides. However, they are currently hampered by maladapted regulation.
Agrifood 30-01-2020

EU health chief wants more information on gene editing

The new EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides wants more information about the controversial issue of gene editing and for now, she seems less enthusiastic than her predecessor Vytenis Andriukaitis.
Agrifood 27-01-2020

US agriculture chief urges EU to listen to science, not fear-mongering NGOs

When it comes to food, EU policymakers should make science-based decisions if they want to help European their farmers tackle the “legitimate concerns” over sustainability, Sonny Perdue, the US State Secretary of Agriculture, said on Monday (27 January).
Agrifood 24-01-2020

France bets on development of biocontrol to solve pesticide problem

Having struggled to reduce the use of plant protection products, France intends to work twice as hard on the development of so-called 'biocontrol' methods. Besides, it is pushing to develop more favourable rules at the European level for the industry. EURACTIV France reports.
Agrifood 20-01-2020

Germans protest in Berlin demanding radical change of agricultural sector

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Berlin in the tenth "We're fed up with it!" rally on Saturday (18 January) in an effort to bring about a radical change in Germany's agricultural sector. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Agrifood 16-01-2020

European Parliament kicks off debate on pesticide, food waste cuts

MEPs agreed their first stance on the new Commission’s environmental flagship policy, the European Green Deal, aiming at halving food waste by 2030 and setting binding reduction targets for hazardous pesticides.
Agrifood 15-01-2020

EU to ban the insecticide thiacloprid

The European Commission decided on Monday (13 January) not to renew the approval of the neonicotinoid pesticide thiacloprid, following scientific advice by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that the substance presents health and environmental concerns.
Agrifood 13-01-2020

Despite plans to ban glyphosate, its sales in France increase by 10%

Despite France's campaign against glyphosate and a plan to ban it in a majority of agricultural practices by the end of 2020, the world's most commonly used weedkiller saw its sales volumes soar by 10% in the country in 2018.
Agrifood 09-01-2020

French vineyards fear losing land to new pesticide-free zones

Pesticide-free zones, implemented in France since 1 January 2020, have angered winegrowers, who are losing a great deal of surface area, while civil society still considers them insufficient. EURACTIV France reports.

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