Report: German rules on crop protection have major shortcomings

Germany’s legal framework for using plant protection products has significant shortcomings, the conclusions of a report presented on Wednesday (12 January) by an alliance of various associations shows. EURACTIV Germany reports.

The use worldwide of chemical crop protection has increased 80% since 1990, according to the Pesticide Atlas published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the environmental organization BUND, and the Pesticide Action Network (PAN Germany). “We urgently need a reversal of the trend,” Barbara Unmüßig, executive director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, said at the report’s presentation. “European and German politics are now responsible for this,” she added.

At the EU level, the EU’s flagship Farm to Fork strategy aims to halve both the number of chemical crop protection used and the associated risks by 2030. According to Olaf Bandt, chair of the environmental organization BUND, this is already a good step. “But this is something where the traffic light government [of Social Democrats, Greens and the liberal FDP] should have said immediately: We support this, and we are even doing more,” Bandt also said.

To date, Germany can, at best, be given a “poor” rating for its actions in this area, he added. The new Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir, for example, should have improved the national strategic plan for the implementation of the Common EU Agricultural Policy (CAP) immediately after taking office to create stronger incentives for the chemical crop protection use reduction Bandt continued.

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