The EU has banned or restricted the use of many chemicals that are hazardous to health or the environment. But it continues to produce and export some of these products to third countries, particularly developing countries. An investigation by Public Eye and Unearthed found that in 2018 alone, more than 81,000 tonnes of pesticides containing 41 different hazardous chemicals banned from EU fields were exported from European factories for use in agriculture in other countries. In total, some 667,000 tonnes of hazardous chemicals banned or severely restricted in the EU were exported in 2020, according to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
In the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability published on 14 October 2020, the Commission pledged to lead by example and stop its export of hazardous chemicals and pesticides that are already banned in Europe.
Despite this promise, the EC has no plans to change the EU regulation governing the export of some of its hazardous chemicals (PICs) in 2023, which as it stands allows the EU to sell toxic pesticides to countries outside the region.
Therefore, more than 300 CSOs from around the world are calling in a joint statement for an immediate ban on exports of toxic pesticides from the EU that endanger people and the environment in other parts of the world.
At the same time, more than 200,000 citizens have signed a petition calling on the EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, to stop Europe’s deadly exports without further delay.