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Wayne Parsons
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European Union Parliament votes to ban pesticides

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The Canary Report today covers a story that should make hawaii legislators think hard about why pesticides are rampant in the Hawaii environment. Here is their report:

January 16, 2009 by Susie Collins

If turned into law, the tighter rules would be phased in from next year with the aim of halving toxic substances on plants by 2013.

organic carrots

The European Union regulation places tight curbs on crop-spraying, bans the use of pesticides near schools and hospitals, and proscribes 22 chemicals, some said to be carcinogenic. This is the kind of change in policy that will start to shift the chemical pesticides paradigm throughout the world.

Beyond Pesticides reports:

On January 13, the European Parliament adopted a pesticide regulation to phase out hazardous pesticides across the European Union.

According to the EU, “The new legislation will increase the protection of human health and the environment, will lead to a better protection of agricultural production and will extend and deepen the single market of plant protection products.”

The EU stated: “The new Regulation confirms the importance that the European Commission gives to a high level of protection of human health and the environment, while at the same time harmonises further the availability of plant protection products. Moreover it intends to favour competition and reduce administrative burden for all stakeholders.”

The EU’s approach to pesticide regulation moves it rules to a hazard-based, rather than a risk-based, system.

The proposal would push farmers and chemical companies to replace the most toxic products with alternatives, remove provisional licenses for pesticides not yet registered with the EU, restrict the use of crop-dusters, and ban pesticides near sensitive areas.

“One of the main aims of the proposal is to maintain a high level of protection for humans, animals and the environment. This is essential for our citizens,” said EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, who advocated for this ban in May 2008. “We will not authorize what is known to be harmful for public health.”