Debate “Pesticides – how should we regulate?” on Monday 24 October at 12:30pm CET – watch LIVE Streaming here
The EU has reached an important crossroads in its regulation of herbicides and pesticides. The European Commission on June 29 approved an up to 18-month extension of the license for farmers to use glyphosate – the active ingredient in the world’s most widely used weedkiller RoundUp – after a split vote among Member States. The debate over glyphosate became heated after a branch of the World Health Organisation cited a link to cancer. But the EU’s regulating body EFSA, the EU’s food safety authority, and other regulating bodies around the world disagree. The European Chemicals Agency will table its own review by the end of next year. The EU will then decide on a new license.
Meanwhile, the EU has begun talks on revised criteria to identify endocrine disruptors, chemicals deemed to interfere with human hormones. The plan tightens the rules in line with a definition of the World Health Organisation, ruling out the option of including potency (a move pushed by some Member States and industry) or adding additional categories such as ‘suspected’ endocrine disruptors (a move pushed by NGOs and some scientists). The draft proposal would have a significant impact of the EU’s farm sector in terms of domestic production and imports, with an impact assessment suggesting 26 active substances – 13 fungicide chemicals, 9 herbicides and 4 insecticides including key ingredients such as 2,4-D, Tebuconazole, Boscalid & Mancozeb – risk requiring substitution. The move would also mean lowering a number of maximum residue levels (MRLs) for agricultural imports. The decision has opened a wider debate over the EU’s regulation of crop protection products.
Is it fit for purpose? Has it struck the right balance between protecting citizens and encouraging innovation? Is it stifling farmers’ ability to combat pests and boost production in a time of growing food demand? Or do we need more stringent requirements?
Ladislav Miko is Deputy Director General of the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers of the European Commission (DG SANTE) since November 2014, and Deputy Director General for the Food Chain at DG SANTE, since January 2011. In this capacity, he held responsibility for the Directorate-General’s work on the nature and biodiversity, agriculture, soils and forests. He initiated, among others, the policies related to economic valuation of ecosystem assets (TEEB), green infrastructure, and special program to support biodiversity conservation and solve climate change impacts (BEST) in European Overseas Territories. He holds a doctorate in zoology and ecology and is Associate Professor of Prague University of Life Sciences and Guest Professor at the University of Antwerp, teaching environment and society relations and ecological restoration courses. Prior to join the European Commission, he was deputy Minister in the Czech Ministry for Environment and worked for 9 years as a professional soil biologist in the Slovak Academy of Sciences, specialized in soil zoology and ecology. He works for popularization of ecology and soil biology and published over 50 scientific papers.
ECPA Director General
Jean-Philippe Azoulay is the Director General of the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA). He was previously the Global Division Leader of Dupont’s Nutrition division and prior to that the Regional Director of their European Crop Protection business.
Jean-Philippe’s broad experience across the business gives him both historical perspective and an extensive view of the way the industry operates. He has worked across multiple functions including Sales, Finance, Commercial, Manufacturing and General Management as well as several Dupont business segments. He has an MBA in Finance and Economics, as well as a Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
François Veillerette is French and has a teacher education, and is the Director of Générations Futues (PAN France) which he co‐founded and which he was President of for 10 years. He has also been the Vice President of the Picardy region in France in charge of environment, food and health from 2010 to 2015.
Francois is involved in the issues of environmental health and was among other things:Founder and Chairman of the Movement for Rights and Respect of Future Generations (MDRGF ‐ now Générations Futures) from 2000 to 2009, he is currently the spokesperson and Director. Board Member and current President of the European network Pesticide Action Network (PAN Europe). Member of the Steering Committee of the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN). Current member of the Writers Association of Journalists for the Environment (JNE). Former president of Greenpeace France from 2003 to 2006 and then Vice‐ President of the same NGO in 2008‐2009. Francois also co founded the Réseau Environnement Santé (RES) in France.
Copa & Cogeca Director
Mrs Oana Neagu is Director of the General Affairs team at Copa and Cogeca, which itself is an EU agricultural lobby organisation representing 23 million farmers and 22,000 agri-cooperatives.She is an agricultural economist and holds a Master’s degree in business administration. She previously worked at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture as a policy officer, in charge of managing market measures. Prior to joining the Commission in 2006, she was the counsellor for European integration at the Ministry of Agriculture in Romania, and was involved in preparing Romania’s accession to the European Union.
Moderated by leading Agriculture journalist Ed Bray.