The [European] Commission proposed a 50 percent cut in the risk and use of pesticides by 2030 as part of its Farm to Fork strategy last year but that ambition is not legally binding unless the Commission includes it in a law that is then approved by MEPs and national capitals.
Andrew Owen-Griffiths, head of the plants unit at the Commission’s health and food safety department, said the Commission could propose mandatory targets when it redrafts a directive on using pesticides sustainably.
He said the Commission was also thinking about slapping taxes on the most dangerous pesticides, creating a centralized EU database of guidance on applying pesticides to different crops and looking at using drones to reduce the amount of chemicals sprayed on fields.
The official added there could also be “stronger links” between countries’ overall plans for deploying Common Agricultural Policy subsidies and their separate national plans on sustainable pesticides use, which could also be vetted more frequently by the Commission in future.
“None of these should be taken as ‘the Commission will do this,’” he cautioned.