Newsletter about Pesticides N°6

  December 14, 2021

For its sixth newsletter, Justice Pesticides looks back at the news of the last few months related to pesticides. The consequences of these toxic products affect every country in the world, and the information in this newsletter includes Brazil, the European Union, France, Paraguay, Spain and the United States.

We hope you find this information interesting and useful. In order to support our action and to make as many people as possible aware of the problems posed by these poisons, do not hesitate to share this newsletter with your contacts.

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Paraguay: Pesticides use in violation of the rights of an indigenous community

In a landmark decision dated October 12, 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Committee found that Paraguay’s failure to prevent and control toxic contamination of traditional lands, due to the intensive use of pesticides by large neighboring farms, constitutes a violation of the indigenous community’s rights and sense of belonging.

U.S.: Bayer wins first Roundup trial, but more trouble ahead

Bayer has won its first court victory in the massive Roundup litigation in the U.S., with the ruling of October 5, 2021 against a mother who believed her use of Roundup exposed her child to the pesticide and caused him to develop cancer. A California jury found that the herbicide was not a “substantial factor” in the development of the child’s cancer.

U.S.: EPA sued over paraquat approval

Farmworker and environmental groups have sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for reauthorizing the herbicide paraquat on July 13, 2021, even though it puts farmworkers at increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. The lawsuit comes amid a growing number of product liability lawsuits focusing on the link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease.

EU: ClientEarth takes the European Commission to court to put an end to the secrecy of pesticide approval

Faced with the European Commission’s refusal to disclose the positions defended by Member States regarding decisions on pesticide authorizations, and in particular the renewal of the authorization of cypermethrin, our partner ClientEarth decided to sue the Commission before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The European Commission condemned by the Ombudsman for trusting a scientist linked to industry to define the level of environmental protection against pesticides

The European Ombudsman had been seized on September 15, 2020 with a complaint about the method of environmental risk assessment of pesticides, and more particularly about the management of conflicts of interest with experts involved in the design of this method by the European Commission.

France: Indictment for manslaughter following phosphine poisoning

Following the death of a 21 years old woman in the hospital of Kourou (Guyane), the investigation opened by the public prosecutor’s office of Cayenne determined that she was poisoned by a very toxic insecticide called phosphine. This would be the first case of death linked to the use of this insecticide in France.

France : Valérie Murat prevented from appealing her conviction in a SLAPP

The Court of Appeal of Bordeaux has denied the right to Valérie Murat, spokeswoman for the NGO Alerte aux Toxiques, to appeal her conviction to pay € 125,000 to the Bordeaux wine industry for disparagement in a lawsuit brought by the CIVB (interprofessional council of Bordeaux wines).


Glyphosate in the EU: It remains to be seen what will happen

On November 22, 2021, the eight-week public consultation on EFSA’s (European Food Safety Authority) and ECHA’s (European Chemicals Agency) draft assessment report ended. That draft was completed in June, and the agencies announced “that a classification of glyphosate with regard to carcinogenicity is not justified.”

Brazil: Jair Bolsonaro changes the law on pesticides, endangering human and environmental health

Brazil closes the year 2021 with a serious and sad news regarding pesticides. President Jair Bolsonaro amended the pesticide law and the decree that regulated it, in a procedure considered unconstitutional by many legal experts, to make the country’s regulations on pesticides even more permissive than they already are.

EU: Reauthorization of two endocrine disrupting pesticides in defiance of the European Green Deal

The EU Member States voted in November 2021 in favor of the re-authorization of two endocrine disrupting pesticides that are toxic to bees, flumioxazine and cypermethrin. This vote is in total contradiction with the European Green Deal, which aims to strengthen the precautionary principle, the protection of biodiversity and the progressive elimination of endocrine disruptors.


Spain: High presence of glyphosate in surface and ground water

The environmental organization Ecologistas en Acción, partner of Justice Pesticides, publishes a survey that analyzes data from basin agencies from 2015 to 2019. The analyses confirm the high presence of glyphosate in surface and groundwater in Spain.

UE: Ending blind spots on agro-chemicals

In the context of the Farm to Fork Strategy in May 2020, the European Commission has announced as a target a reduction of 50% of the use and risk of pesticides by 2030. But do we have or will we have precise, reliable and up-to-date data on the use of pesticides to assess progress towards this target?

Undeniable success of the ECI “Save bees and farmers”

More than one million signatures have been collected in the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) “Save bees and farmers” to get rid of pesticides. This two-year campaign, which was made particularly difficult by the Covid-19 pandemics, highlights the interest of European citizens to eliminate pesticides.

Pesticides in our bedroom

Our partner Pesticides Action Network Europe (PAN-EU) publishes a new report “Pesticides in our bedrooms”. This report shows that a significant number of pesticide residues sprayed in rural areas can be found in the bedrooms of European citizens. Pesticides suspected of being carcinogenic to humans by the European authorities were detected in one sample out of four.

France: 37 NGOs ask Emmanuel Macron to ban glyphosate in the EU

Our partner Générations Futures, foodwatch, and 35 NGOs, including Justice Pesticides, have decided to take French President Emmanuel Macron at his word. At the World Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, he declared that he “wants to take an initiative for an accelerated exit from pesticides” during the French presidency of the European Union, which begins in January 2022.