Toxic organic pesticides pose surprising challenge to pro-environment politicians

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Tomatoes covered in copper sulfate, an approved organic pesticide (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has released fresh data which re-confirms the toxicity of copper compounds, pesticides that are used in organic farming …. particularly for potato, grape, tomato and apple production systems.

The EU food watchdog has now analysed fresh data, so-called “confirmatory data”, and concluded that nothing changed its previous assessments.

“Considering the information available in the framework of the confirmatory data, the risk assessment remains unchanged, and therefore the new information provided does not change the overall conclusion drawn during the renewal assessment of copper compounds,” the report noted.

EFSA’s new report will put Eric Andrieu, an MEP from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D group) and the chief of the PEST committee, in a difficult position. The committee was created to monitor the transparency of pesticide authorization in the EU.

Related article:  Viewpoint: 'Blistering' USDA organic report suggests 'movement' needs major reforms

Andrieu has insisted that public health should be prioritized against economic interests when it comes to pesticides’ authorization. But in the case of copper, he has called for policy-makers to show flexibility.

“Alternatives to copper remain very limited and currently do not meet the demand of 500 million consumers. In the short term, the survival of a large part of European winery, in particular, the organic winery is at stake …. ,” he told EURACTIV.com in June 2018.

Read full, original article: EFSA re-confirms toxicity of organic pesticide, exposes PEST Committee boss

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