The Malta Independent 10 December 2018, Monday

‘Access to low-risk bio pesticides should be facilitated to enter EU markets’ - MEP Miriam Dalli

Tuesday, 14 February 2017, 12:35 Last update: about 3 years ago

The European Commission should facilitate the introduction of biological low-risk pesticides into the European Market, MEP Miriam Dalli said while addressing the plenary session of the European Parliament on behalf of the Socialists & Democrats.

The use of conventional pesticides has been in the spotlight for the past months, as awareness increased on the risk they pose to public health, ecological biodiversity and environment.

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Faced with this reality, one needs to push forward different alternatives based on the need to reach a balance in agricultural ecosystems, to minimise the use of traditional pesticides, and to promote the use of biological alternatives.

Maltese MEP Miriam Dalli noted that biological low-risk pesticides could be a viable alternative to these traditional plant protection products, as they would contribute to sustainable agriculture and greater peace of mind for consumers.

‘This is an adequate solution to the problem of pesticides, but the current regulatory framework, both at an EU and Member State level, obstruct the promotion of these biological alternatives due to the slow process of authorisation and evaluation, thus contributing to the limited availability in the market. This is why I urge the Commission to make the necessary steps to reduce these market-entry obstacles,” Miriam Dalli said.

The Labour MEP added that the EU should also spur further research and innovation on similar low-risk bio products for plant protection.

‘At the end of the day we are speaking about the future of agriculture as well as the health of each and everyone of us,’ Miriam Dalli concluded.

Biological low-risk pesticides are usually composed of natural substances derived from animals, plants, bacteria and other minerals. They normally target specific pests thus reducing risks to beneficial insects and birds, and are non-toxic to people and environment.

Through this vote, the European Parliament is urging the Commission to legislate in favour of fast-tracking the evaluation, authorisation and registration of low-risk pesticides, before the end of 2018. 

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