An environmental nonprofit has obtained documents showing the extent to which the European Commission has been lobbied by pesticide producers seeking to protect their interests, leading to a more lenient regulation of these controversial substances. The environmental group, Pesticide Action Network (PAN), has obtained over 600 documents from the Commission showing top EU officials fighting to “cripple” the bloc’s pesticide protection legislation.
“The Commission has chosen the side of the industry,” PAN’s Chemicals Coordinator Hans Muilerman told De Morgen.
In its report, PAN says that the documents show how top EU Health officials have bent to the demands of “chemical and farming interests” to derail legislation which would have resulted in the ban of 32 dangerous pesticides.
“A number of [EU] health officials, up to the most senior people in the Commission, have used their position to serve the interests of the industry,” Bart Staes, an MEP for the European Greens told De Morgen.
The harmful effects of some pesticides on human and animal health have been known of since the 1990s, and public pressure has been piling on authorities to take regulatory action against them.
PAN’s report comes after the European Court of Justice ruled in its favour after a two-year legal fight, ordering the Commission to release the documents.