EU Commission ‘watered down stance on toxic residues’, claims report
EU officials were persuaded to weaken their stance on hazardous pesticides found in food imports to appease trade pressure, according to an investigation.
Corporate Europe Observatory’s report ‘Toxic Residues Through The Back Door’ claimed that pressure from key trade powers and pesticide corporations – aided by a few member states - pushed the EU to weaken its stance on hazardous residues in imported food. “Even residues of dangerous chemicals rightfully banned in Europe could now still end up on the plates of unwitting consumers,” it warned.
Corporate Europe Observatory researcher Nina Holland said: “EU leaders keep saying that food standards will not be lowered due to free trade agreements. This story shows those statements to be false. If nothing changes, toxic residues from pesticides banned in Europe will be allowed in imported food. The new Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides should know that this weakening of public health standards will be unacceptable to numerous Member States, the European Parliament, farmers, environmental organisations and the wider public.
“Members of the European Parliament should let the Commission know that ignoring the conclusions of the PEST Committee is not an option. They should also demand that the Commission provides them the opinion by its Legal Service. The six EU Member States (and the UK), who helped pesticide corporations and trade partners like the US and Canada to undermine EU standards, should be questioned in their parliaments about why they are not standing up for the health of their citizens.”
The Commission is planning to publish its farm to fork strategy in March. “If the REFIT report does indeed contain the weak approach outlined in the documents discussed above, this will immediately call into question the new commission’s ambitious European Green Deal and Farm to Fork strategy,” the CEO concluded in its report.