#SaveLeApi, #Savethebees, - the alliance of 79 civil society organizations that successfully carried out the European Citizens 'Initiative of the same name (1) - intervenes on the reform process of the rules on'sustainable use'of pesticides and other agrotoxicants.
The drastic reduction in the use of agrochemicals that expose public health and biodiversity to serious risks, promised by the Commission in the EU strategy Farm to Fork and reaffirmed by the European Parliament on 20.10.21 (2,3) must be based on data which have been omitted so far.
#SalviamoLeApi, the European Citizens' Initiative
the 30.9.21 the collection of signatures in support of the referendum initiative ended in Brussels, with over 1,2 million adhesions #SaveLeApi. One of the few European Citizens' Initiatives, please note, to have reached this milestone so far. As proof of the growing attention of citizens - as inhabitants, as well as consumers - towards the use of agrochemistry in agriculture.
#SaveLeApi aspires to a reform of EU rules in the following terms:
- gradual elimination of pesticides, herbicides and other agrotoxicants. -80% in 2030, -100% by 2035,
- adoption of stringent measures for the recovery of biodiversity,
- support for farmers in the ecological transition. (4)
Awareness and awareness
Awareness raising of citizens and consumers on the dangers associated with the pollution of air, water and soils with neurotoxic substances and endocrine disruptors has allowed the maturation of a widespread awareness. Short chain e agroecology have become part of the common lexicon.
The lively growth of organic production and sales of organic products in Europe, (5) moreover, demonstrates how the attention of consumers is directed to both aspects of:
- individual health, of particular relevance as regards the immune system that organic foods help to strengthen, (6)
- collective health and ecosystems, in that logic of OneHealth which identifies the need to protect people, animals and the environment with a synergistic approach.
#SalviamoLeApi, appeal for a reform based on precise data
The 79 organizations of civil society who support the #SalviamoLeApi initiative they published on 25.2.22 a open letter, addressed to the Commission, the Parliament and the French Presidency of the Council (I Semester 2022). To highlight the need for an EU reform based on accurate and up-to-date data on actual consumption of agrochemicals in Member States and scientific evidence on the risks associated with their use.
The AGRI Commission (Agriculture and Rural Development) of the European Parliament has in fact adopted a report on the proposal for an EU regulation on agricultural statistics (Statistics on Agricultural Input and Output, SAIO. See note 7) which, following the amendments proposed by the Council of Agriculture Ministers of the Member States, would in fact maintain the status quo. That is to say, a poor and ineffective data collection system, on a five-year basis. (8)
Statistics on Agricultural Input and Output (SAIO), scarce and inaccessible data
'You want to highlight the insufficiency of the data collected so far and the inefficient ways in which they are shared, processed and analyzed. The control and data entry procedures are often not validated or electronically archived and are in fact not recoverable or usable.
Even the limited data available often they are not made available to the public with the transparency instead required. Public bodies, regional bodies, ministries of member states do not have access to such data and there is no adequate information that protects and informs about the risks, damages and consequences statistically revealed on the use of pesticides. '
Input e output in agriculture, the necessary data
The availability of data qualitative, geo-referenced and updated on the levels of consumption of agrochemical products in the Member States - and more generally, on input e output in agriculture - is the conditio sine qua non to define strategies consistent with the stated objectives. These data, it should be noted, are already available to the authorities of the Member States and to the operators of the agri-food chains:
- the public system of identification of agricultural parcels (Land Parcel Information Systems, LPIS) acquires, records and represents qualitative and quantitative data, as part of the integrated management and control system for aid in agriculture (Integrated administration and control systems, IACS),
- the registration of pesticides is always mandatory, in the country notebooks, and is the subject of particular attention also in the certification schemes of 'integrated production' in agriculture (eg. National Quality System for Integrated Production, SQNPI extension, in Italy),
- the certification schemes adopted by all agricultural enterprises that supply large-scale distribution (eg. globalgap) in turn provide for complete transparency with detailed information on the agrochemicals used in each agricultural parcel.
Data is king. The European Commission, in proposing a reform on the collection of statistical data in agriculture, has proposed that Member States provide Brussels with annual reports. The quality of the data collected is crucial for monitoring the cd Integrated Pest Management, which should in theory guarantee the lowest possible use of herbicides and pesticides but clashes with the overall data on their consumption in the EU, estimated at over 350 thousand t / year. (9)
La European Court of Auditors had already pointed out, in 2020, the lack of data and the insufficiency of the measures adopted so far in the EU to mitigate the impact of pesticides on biodiversity. (10) No improvement can be expected without improving the collection and management of data, their integration with indicators of the health of ecosystems (soils and waters) and scientific research.
The very idea of carbon farming it cannot ignore an exact analysis of the impact of individual crops - in relation to the agricultural practices adopted - on the environment and biodiversity.
# SDG3, Good Health and Well-being. # SDG12, Sustainable Consumption and Production. # SDG14, Life below Water. # SDG15, Life on land.
Dario Dongo and Guido Cortese
Footnotes to the story
(1) Martha Strinati. The ICE Salviamo le Bees has collected over a million signatures. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). 9.10.21/XNUMX/XNUMX, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/consum-attori/l-ice-salviamo-le-api-ha-raccolto-oltre-un-milione-di-firme
(2) Dario Dongo, Marina De Nobili. Special Farm to Fork, the strategy presented in Brussels on 20.5.20. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/progresso/speciale-farm-to-fork-la-strategia-presentata-a-bruxelles-il-20-5-20
(3) Dario Dongo. Farm to Fork, resolution in Strasbourg. Focus on pesticides and fertilizers. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). 23.10.21/XNUMX/XNUMX, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/progresso/farm-to-fork-risoluzione-a-strasburgo-focus-su-pesticidi-e-fertilizzanti
(4) The non-reform of the CAP and the distortions Coldirect of the aid of the Recovery Fund (#NextGenerationEU) in the PNRR towards photovoltaic panels have unfortunately burned the resources of the ecological transition in agriculture for the next few years
(5) Martha Strinati. Bioreport 2020, updated scenario of the biological system. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). 4.1.22/XNUMX/XNUMX, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/bioreport-2020-scenario-aggiornato-del-sistema-biologico
(6) Dario Dongo, Andrea Adelmo Della Penna. Organic food and the immune system, scientific evidence. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). 11.4.20/XNUMX/XNUMX, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/salute/alimenti-biologici-e-sistema-immunitario-evidenze-scientifiche
(7) European Parliament. Statistics on agricultural input and output. Legislative procedure in progress, summary. https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/printficheglobal.pdf?id=723154&l=en
(8) Ashley Parsons. Ministers Move to Make Pesticide Reduction Targets Meaningless, New Reports Reveal. Earth client. 4.2.22, https://www.arc2020.eu/ministers-move-to-make-pesticide-reduction-targets-meaningless-new-reports-reveal/
(9) Louise Kelleher. 350,000 Tonnes of Pesticides Sold in EU Each Year - Still No Clear Picture of the Risks. Arc 2020. 10.2.20, https://www.arc2020.eu/350000-tonnes-of-pesticides-sold-in-eu-still-no-clear-picture-of-the-risks/
(10) Dario Dongo, Marina De Nobili. CAP, pesticides and biodiversity. Report of the EU Court of Auditors. GIFTS (Great Italian Food Trade). 29.7.20/XNUMX/XNUMX, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/progresso/pac-pesticidi-e-biodiversità-relazione-della-corte-dei-conti-ue