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European Commission mustn’t abandon hazardous chemical exports ban commitments made in EU Green Deal

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Ahead of the Global No Pesticides Day on 3 December, more than 325 civil society organisations from across the globe, institutions and trade unions are publishing a Joint Statement demanding a ban on the export of hazardous chemicals that are forbidden in the EU.

In 2018 alone, more than 81,000 tonnes of pesticides containing 41 different hazardous chemicals banned for agricultural use in the EU, were exported by European corporations.

Along with the statement, today the NGOs:

(*) Deliver an export ban petition to EU Environment Commissioner Sinkevičius signed by more than 200,000 people citizens from across the world.

(*) Organise a conference in Brussels with speakers from NGOs and the trade union movement, the European Commission, European Parliament, and EU governments. The aim is to present and discuss the impact of pesticides on farmworkers and communities in the Global South, the findings of a new study on exports of banned pesticides, Member States’ actions on export bans of pesticides and hazardous chemicals, and the state of play for an EU-wide ban.

The European Commission committed in the EU Green Deal’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability Towards a Toxic-Free Environment in 2020 to “lead by example, and, in line with international commitments, ensure that hazardous chemicals banned in the European Union are not produced for export, including by amending relevant legislation if and as needed.” However, the European Commission’s 2023 work programme does not include any legal action to stop this practice.

Toxic chemicals that are considered too dangerous to be used in the EU are also dangerous for use outside the EU’s borders. Yet for years the European Commission has allowed pesticides that are banned in Europe because they are harmful for our health to be exported to third countries with weaker protection laws”, explains Dr Angeliki Lyssimachou, Senior Science Policy Officer at the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL).

“The impact on people’s health and the environment in these countries is devastating. We’re proud to represent today the 213,500 citizens calling on the EU Commission to stand by its promise and to put an end to this unacceptable practice without delay.”



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