Sweden bans a pesticide approved in the EU. New crack in the poison system

0
13

Sweden bans the use on its territory of a German pesticide authorized in the EU. The decision traces what has already happened in France and reaffirms the sovereignty of member states over the protection of their territory and population from the spreading of dangerous chemicals.

German pesticide banned in Sweden

Sweden’s decision to ban the pesticide Imprid Skog, which is used against beetles on coniferous (spruce and pine) plants, takes its cue from May 2019, when the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) rejected an application submitted by Germany’s Nisso Chemical to renew the product’s approval.

The chemical industry’s appeal was granted 6 months later by the Nacka Land and Environment District Court, which approved the renewal of the pesticide’s permit.

The defeat has not deterred the Swedish Chemicals Agency, which has appealed the ruling to the Environmental and Land Court of Appeal in Svea. And he won, gaining final confirmation from the Supreme Court for Land and Environment. (1)

Goal: a non-toxic environment

Sweden’s opposition to the German pesticide is well justified and does not entail significant economic or practical disadvantages for forest owners.

The ruling of the Supreme Court of Land and Environment is very gratifying. Our decision is based on the fact that there are ways to protect coniferous plants from beetles without chemicals and that these methods are already widely used.

Every time we can reduce the unnecessary use of chemicals, we take a step toward a non-toxic environment,’ says Per Ängquist, director general of the Swedish Chemicals Agency.

The first case in France

The verd ict of the Swedish Supreme Court for Land and Environment is one of the first rulings in the EU on this issue. Leading the way was France, which in 2018 banned the use in its territory of two neonecotinoids allowed in the EU( we had explored the matter in depthhere ) and, upon the chemical industry’s appeal, went to the European Court of Justice.

The EU Supreme Court upheld the legitimacy of the French government’s actions. A ban on the use of a pesticide authorized in the EU is in fact an option granted by the Plant Protection Products Regulation to all EU member states. (2,3)

Each government may decide on the substitution of chemicals by other means or methods that are safer for health or the environment and have no practical disadvantages. Few, however, resort to it, leaving a free hand to the poisoning of soils, crops, water and people. The European citizens’ initiative #SaveTheBees seems the only hope of salvation for the Old Continent. To support it simply sign here.

Marta Strinati

Notes

(1) The full text of the appeal is available, in Swedish, at this link

(2) Reg. EC 1107/2009, as amended, concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market. Consolidated text at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/IT/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A02009R1107-20191214

(3) European Court of Justice (ECJ). Case C-514/19, Union des industries de la protection des plantes v. Premier ministre et al . Judgment 8.10.20, at http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf;jsessionid=E1E69A59A846E086E7D7C5152772CA0Btext=&docid=232150&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=12796875

+ posts

Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".