Wallonia’s Minister of the Environment, Carlo Di Antonio, and the Scientific Public Service Institute, ISSeP, on Tuesday presented an overview of legislation and studies currently being done on pesticides in the region. Discussions at the presentation, held in Colfontaine, focused on health, environment and quality of life. Areas of focus included exposure of the population in both urban and rural environments. Citizens appear to be exposed to phyto-pharmaceutical products and, in particular, to herbicides and fungicides. This exposure is harmful to health, quality of life and the environment.
Resources have been devoted to monitoring the evolution towards a new mode of production and consumption. Measures taken in Wallonia with regard to phyto-pharmaceutical products are thus aimed at drastically reducing or banning the use of such products by applying the principle of precaution. For Carlo Di Antonio, “Wallonia needs to have the ambition of developing into a territory without pesticides.”
Many strong measures have already been implemented, such as those protecting residents of areas bordering farmland. They include a ban on beginning to spray substances such as pesticides and weedicides when winds are higher than 20 kms per hour or less than 50 metres from the edge of land adjoining schools during school hours.