85 social and environmental organisations urge Ursula von der Leyen and the European Commission to hold true to the European Green Deal commitment to ensure that hazardous chemicals banned in the EU will no longer be produced for export.
Commission officials have informed campaigners and industry lobbyists that the Commission has decided not to follow-through and present a legislative proposal before the end of its mandate. Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius however told the European Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) on Monday evening that he hopes, “if the ambition is still there, [the Commission] will be able to propose it in this mandate”, in reply to a question about banned chemicals.
Eoin Dubsky, campaigner at Ekō said: “President von der Leyen, Vice-President Šefčovič and Commissioner Sinkevičius need to clarify to their teams and the world what’s going on to stop toxic exports. Is the Commission still planning to “lead by example” during this mandate, or are they slow-walking the last lap?”
Angeliki Lysimachou, Head of Science and Policy at PAN Europe added: “The Commission's U-turn is utterly unacceptable. Companies are reaping profits by selling banned pesticides, deemed too dangerous for European use, to third countries, exploiting their lax environmental and health regulations. This double standard must end now and the Commission's reversal shows a failure to prioritise human and environmental rights over private profits.”
“The EU risks losing its credibility if it does not stick to its promises to act against these toxic exports. It is now the time to take courageous steps to protect people and their environment and not to back down. All people have the right to a healthy environment and physical integrity - regardless of whether they are EU citizens or live in third countries. A hesitation on the part of the EU sends a terrible message to the hundreds of million people suffering from pesticide poisoning worldwide." said Susan Haffmans, senior adviser on pesticides at PAN Germany.
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