Health and environment groups have applauded the decision to ban chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl from the EU market.
Member states voted to ban the pesticide, which has been the subject of a long-running Le Monde and EUobserver investigation, in both forms on the grounds that it harms the brains and foetuses of young children.
Authorisation for the pesticide - which was due to expire on 31 January 2020 – and will now not be renewed. The EU may grant a 'grace period' of three months after which the products can no longer be placed on the market or used in the EU.
At the beginning of August, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl, have 'potential' genotoxic effects (harmful to the DNA in cells), and are toxic to the developing brain.
Despite the heavy lobbying of the manufacturers, Corteva and Ascenza, as well as their allies, to prevent the ban, it failed to convince the member states.
Genon K. Jensen, Executive Director of the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), said: “The ban of both forms of chlorpyrifos is a major win for the healthy development of today’s children and future generations. While we can’t take away the decades of exposure to these substances and the associated neurodevelopmental impacts, the new Commission can make sure this doesn’t continue to happen with other substances by committing to decreasing Europe’s dependency on pesticides and addressing remaining loopholes in evaluation processes.”
Nabil Berbour, Campaign Manager at SumOfUs, said: “This is a major win for the health of European citizens who are more and more concerned by dangerous pesticides they find on their plates. We hope EU decision-makers take note of this huge concern and will go above and beyond to reduce the EU’s dependency on toxic pesticides. The EU is the largest single market in the world and the most powerful trading power, so we hope this ban will pave the way to other bans elsewhere in the world. SumOfUs members will continue to fight for this.”