Press Release

PR | Zakia Khattabi urges an end to the misuse of the pesticide exemption system.

The Court of Justice of the European Union has issued yesterday a judgment on pesticide exemptions prohibited in Europe, which several Member States continue to extend year after year. The Court confirms that there is abuse in the recourse to derogations.

The decision lays down that Member States may only derogate from explicit prohibitions on the commercialization and use of seeds treated with phytosanitary products containing neonicotinoids under exceptional circumstances and over a specified period of time. In other words, when production is under threat and there are no so-called reasonable alternatives.

“The effects of pesticides on the health of people, animals and the environment are well known. The misuse of the exemption scheme does not encourage investment in finding alternatives! In the case of Belgium, the Court reaffirms today the precise framework within which such exemptions may be granted.", states Federal Environment Minister Zakia Khattabi.

"Last December, COP15 concluded an historic agreement to protect and restore global nature. The agreement seeks to reduce global pesticide risks by 50% by 2030. There is therefore an urgent need to change course in order to meet these commitments", she concluded.