Farm Ireland

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Brussels calls for governments and farmers to do more to limit the use of pesticides

The Brussels HQ of the European Commission

Sarah Collins

EU governments and farmers should do more to limit the use of pesticides, the bloc has warned.

As a row rages over the re-licensing of controversial weedkiller glyphosate, the European Commission said governments should clamp down on aerial spraying of pesticides, train farmers on chemical risks and come up with non-chemical alternatives.

EU law says that governments must safety test sprayers and other pesticide equipment. Ireland was one of nine countries where the level of testing is below 50pc, according to a 2016 EU audit.

The rules also say governments should prohibit pesticide use in conservation areas, though Ireland and the UK have failed to report back on whether this is the case.

Ireland also reported problems to European Commission auditors in implementing rules on "integrated pest management", which asks growers to consider crop rotation, non-chemical alternatives and generally reduce the use of pesticides.

Meanwhile, EU experts are to meet on October 23 to discuss whether to reauthorise glyphosate for use in the EU for 10 years.

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