Group wants export of dangerous pesticide to Africa banned

In the wake of the International Day for Peasant Struggles, a coalition of civil society organisations has launched a report about the consequences of an export ban on pesticides not allowed in the EU.

The coalition in the report published on Pesticides Action Network website recently states that stopping the export of EU-banned pesticides from Europe into Africa would have a strong and positive impact on people’s health and the environment in importing countries.

The report highlights that many peasant farmers and rural inhabitants are victims of pesticide poisoning.

“Contrary to what the pesticide lobby argues, an export ban would neither endanger employment nor burden the economy in Europe. These are the conclusions of a report, commissioned by a coalition of civil society organisations urging EU policymakers to act without further delay.

“The double standard on hazardous pesticides must come to an end. If they are too toxic here, they are toxic everywhere. There are no obstacles preventing the EU from adopting strict measures. An export ban will hardly affect the EU economy but will send a powerful message against the spread of toxic chemicals in third countries, where pesticide companies are exploiting lax legislation. The EU must act now.” highlights Rina Guadagnini, policy officer at PAN Europe, on behalf of the coalition members. 

The EU has prohibited some pesticides that seriously harm health and the environment from its territory. At the same time, it allows producing and exporting them. This causes great damage to health and the environment in other countries, especially for farmers and rural communities in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) where regulations are weaker and hazardous pesticide use poses the greatest risks. The double standard is also unfair competition for farmers in the EU.

After committing to ban the export of these pesticides in 2020, the EU has been stalling, and even backtracking, under pressure from the industry, which fiercely opposes the adoption of an EU-wide export ban.