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ClientEarth Communications

9 December 2021

Agriculture
Chemicals
EU

Webinar: Why improving the data on pesticides use is key to delivering the Farm to Fork Strategy

With the Farm to Fork strategy, the European Commission has announced actions to reduce the overall use and risk of chemical pesticides by 50% and the use of more hazardous pesticides by 50% by 2030. This is promising. However, what is the value of these targets if there is no precise public data to assess progress towards them? Currently in the EU, no one has a clear picture of which pesticides are used where, in which quantities and how. This blind spot means trouble for everyone -- expect maybe for the chemical industry.

As national governments, the Parliament and the Commission gear up to decide on a crucial reform of agriculture statistics in an upcoming trilogue, this webinar will give an overview of the current state of play regarding the collection and publication of data of pesticides use in the EU and people’s right to know.

Watch replay 

Agenda 

  • Welcome
  • Intervention of a representative from the European Commission, Johan Selenius, Team Leader - Task Force "Modernisation of agricultural & fisheries statistics" in the European Commission (Eurostat)
  • Speech of MEP Petros Kokkalis (GUE), rapporteur in the legislative reform of agriculture statistics
  • Presentation by Researcher Edward Straw entitled ‘A scientists view on improving pesticides use data for the EU’
  • Presentation by Alice Bernard, Lawyer (juriste) at ClientEarth entitled ‘The legal state of play re. pesticides use data in the EU’
  • Questions & Answers
About the speakers

Edward Straw is a researcher at University College Dublin, Ireland. There he works on farmer attitudes to pesticide use and how to reduce the impacts of pesticides on the environment. His work involves studying the impact pesticides can have on ecosystems, and on pollinators like bees in particular. Ed has recently submitted his PhD at Royal Holloway University of London, UK, where he tested the impacts of pesticides on bumblebee health, with a special emphasis on herbicides and fungicides. He is interested in how we can use data to better protect wildlife and study threats to it.

Petros Kokkalis is a Greek Member of the European Parliament, part of the Left group (GUE/NGL), Member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety among others. He is the rapporteur to the proposal for a regulation on statistics agricultural input and output (see report adopted on 14 October 2021) and supported the adoption of the Resolution on the Farm to Fork Strategy.

Alice Bernard is a lawyer (jurist) working at ClientEarth, an environmental organisation using the law to protect public health and the environment. She joined in 2016 after working as avocat in a lawfirm specialised in EU law. She completed her legal education in Université Paris II and obtained a Master in EU law from King’s College London. Since she joined, she has been working on the implementation of the REACH regulation as well as pesticides related laws.

Johan Selenius is an agricultural economist with roots deep in the Finnish soil. He has worked in various domains of agricultural statistics in Eurostat, the Directorate General of the European Commission in charge of statistics. As teamleader for Agri-environmental statistics from 2006 to 2015, he has first-hand experience of the evolution of pesticide statistics.

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