Scandalous admissions system 2

Scandalous admissions system

Pesticide chlorpyrifos in the EU

The case of the Chlorpyrifos insect killer shows how badly the EU is protecting humans and the environment. Again, dangerous poisons are repeated.

An activist in a citrus orchard

Activist Irma Arroyo talks about pesticides used at citrus plantations in Lindsey, California Photo: imago pictures / ZUMA Press

The pesticide authorization process in the European Union protects the population insufficiently from the risk of poison. This is currently showing scandal over the approval of the insect killer Chlorpyrifos, which taz reported over the weekend.

The EU Member States and the European Commission approved the active substance in 2005, although there were already indications of a health risk. As early as 1998, an animal experiment showed that rat caterpillars were smaller when their parents ate chlorpyrifos. Spanish authorities who checked the substance on behalf of the EU simply ignored this result. Probably because it is not in the study summary but in the raw data.

As was the case with the approval procedures, the pesticide manufacturer commissioned the study itself – and summed it up as well. The result of these masking malpractices is only because researchers at the University of Sweden in 2018 analyzed the data and then sounded the alarm. Therefore, the EU Food Safety Authority has now determined that this substance should not be allowed.

And as if this was not scandalous enough, the EU granted approval three times without reviewing the risk. Studies have even shown cognitive and behavioral deficits in children exposed in the womb of the affected pesticide group. Unfortunately, the license right allows for "blind" permits if the authorities do not decide on a renewal application before the old permit expires.

At the very least, countries like Germany now support the EU Commission proposal to ban chlorpyrifos. The EU must also reform its registration system. The state should commission studies in the future. The producers would have to pay the money to the fund. There must be no other case of chlorpyrifos.