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Parliamentary question - E-003720/2019(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Ms Kyriakides on behalf of the European Commission

In the EU, active substances are only approved[1] following a rigorous scientific risk assessment by Member States and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to verify that their use causes no harmful effects on humans or animals, or unacceptable effects on the environment, including soil and water. While DDT is not approved since 2004, boscalid and chlorantaniliprole are currently approved until 31 June 2020 and 30 April 2024, respectively. Approvals are periodically reviewed ensuring continuous adherence to regulatory criteria. Plant protection products are authorised by the Member States, who are responsible for imposing risk mitigation measures where relevant.

EU legislation[2] furthermore requires application of integrated pest management by EU growers, according to which, wherever possible, non-chemical methods must be preferred to chemical pesticides if they provide satisfactory pest control.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) supports the implementation of the EU legislation and the sustainable use of pesticides. Most CAP payments received by farmers are indeed linked to the respect of the legal obligations under the mechanism of cross-compliance and the CAP provides financial support for practices going beyond statutory rules. The proposal for a future CAP further strengthens this ambition, in particular for pesticides.

Food in the EU must comply with maximum residue levels (MRLs) for pesticides[3]. In 2017, EFSA reported[4] MRL exceedances for only 4.2% of sampled apples[5] and concluded on an overall low probability for negative effects on consumers.

In its communication on The European Green Deal[6], the Commission has confirmed its ambition to reduce significantly the use and risk of chemical pesticides.

Last updated: 19 February 2020
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