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May 23, 2024
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Romania Violates the EU Law Regarding Illegal Seed Treatment

Even though the European Union prohibited neonicotinoid pesticides over ten years ago, Romania continues to use the illegal seed treatment in violation of EU law.

Since the 2018 ban on neonics, the Romanian agricultural ministry has relied on a legislative exception that enables prohibited chemicals to be used as a “last resort” strategy to rescue a threatened harvest, claiming that pesticides are the only way to protect crops from destructive insect infestations.

However, skeptics claim that the government is disregarding available alternatives and accepting all derogation requests presented by significant agriculture and agrichemical companies.

According to Politico, a US-based media outlet, practically every EU country routinely uses these emergency authorizations to use prohibited pesticides that keep their manufacturing running.
France and Belgium’s continued neonic exemptions help the EU maintain its position as the world’s leading sugar beet producer; Spain, the EU’s fruit-growing champion, uses them to allow farmers of crops such as melons or strawberries to use a fungicide that has never received EU approval. Countries like Denmark issue them with manufacturing neonics for EU and non-EU exports.

According to Romania’s agricultural ministry, yearly exemptions are required “because there are no alternatives.” It further said that neonic usage in oilseed rape was discontinued in 2019 after EFSA research discovered alternatives. Martin Hojsik, a Slovak MEP working on pollinator policy, claimed there were “huge loopholes” that demonstrated “there is something really deeply rotten in the system.”

Currently, through all the efforts to save crops from drought and disease, nothing has been achieved except that Romania is in the lousy spotlight again. We all know Romania is not exactly the most law-ruled country, but statements like Martin Hojsik’s remind us that our politicians and leaders need to be replaced.

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