EU ministers discuss pesticide thresholds in organic products
Some member states including Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and the Czech Republic would like to establish
a minimum threshold for pesticide residues above which the product cannot be sold as organic.
agriculture ministers are set to agree on revised legislation surrounding the
organic sector which could include a threshold for pesticides in organic
Officials met informally this week to discuss an extensive list of proposals which include the harmonization of residue sampling.
Some member states including Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and the Czech Republic would like to establish a minimum threshold for pesticide residues above which the product cannot be sold as organic.
Other countries including Germany, Holland, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK are against setting a threshold. Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria say there should be absolutely no residues in their organic produce and products containing them would not be sold.
The Latvian presidency has issued a proposal which is believed to have gained traction in the European Council and an agreement is expected to be made on June 16.
It includes measures which member states must follow in dealing with investigations and detection of pesticides in organic products and whether the contamination was avoidable or not.
Latvian agriculture minister Janis Duklavs said organic farming was one of the priorities of the Latvian presidency.
President of European farming body Copa-Cogeca, Albert Jan Maat, added: “The new rules need in particular to allow the 250,000 organic farmers to earn a living from their activity and also to attract new farmers to convert into organic farming, whilst ensuring consumer confidence. We need evolution and not revolution of the rules.”
On average over the past decade, the area of organic farmland in the EU increased by half a million hectares every year.
There are now more than 186,000 farms cultivating organic farmland across the EU.
SOURCE: Farmers Guardian