Open letter: Ending blind spots on agro-chemicals
Today, 28 environmental and health organisations and beekeeper associations across Europe sent this open letter to the representatives of the EU27 to bring to their attention the necessary inclusion of a number of elements in the ongoing EU reform of agriculture statistics.
The associations work for the public interest to protect the health of farmers, residents of rural areas, and other people exposed to pesticides, as well as pollinators, birds and the environment at large. This legislative reform is of a high importance as it will define what data will be available to monitor progress towards the sustainable use and reduction of pesticides, among other objectives. Setting reduction targets, as proposed in the EU Farm to Fork Strategy is of paramount importance. Ensuring that there will be relevant, reliable and public data to monitor progress towards these targets is equally crucial. The importance of monitoring and an evidence-based approach was particularly emphasised by the Council when it endorsed the Farm to Fork Strategy. Without systems in place to collect and publish such data, the targets set are empty political promises. This lack of transparency can also only fuel mistrust in society.
For this reason, the associations call for:
- The systematic and electronic annual collection of all farmers’ records on their use of pesticides
- The collection of data not only on pesticides but also biocides and veterinary products
- The systematic publication of the data on pesticides’ use at a meaningful level of detail
- The unlimited and easy access to the raw data for the European and national public authorities
Without these data collected and communicated, it will be impossible to measure the evolution of efficiency of the policy implementation and we will remain blinded to the real field situation.
The open letter can be found here