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Pesticide assessment branded ‘not fit for purpose’

More than 100 civil society groups have claimed that European regulators “are letting the citizens of the EU down by allowing the use of harmful pesticides in agriculture and public green areas” because their risk assessment regime is not working.

The environmental groups have banded together as a coalition called Citizens for Science in Pesticide Regulation. They published a manifesto on 31 October in which they and some individual signatories argue that Europe’s pesticide regulation is not sufficiently independent from industry interference.

“The whole process is driven by the pesticide industry, which is allowed to assess the safety of its own products, always behind closed doors, and even to design its own testing methodologies,” said Angeliki Lysimachou, science policy officer of Pesticide Action Network Europe, one of the signatory organisations. “As a result, many tonnes of harmful pesticides are used in Europe today, in increasing numbers, even when scientific evidence from public research shows they are not safe. This must come to an end.”

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