Greenpeace activists today accused the Swedish government of weakening national rules on pesticide contamination of groundwater. The NGO said that officials had decided to allow levels of pesticide degradation products to exceed current limits if designated as not of concern. Government sources insisted that the group had misunderstood the change in policy and controls were being made tighter not weaker.
Until now Sweden has imposed a maximum limit of 0.1 micrograms (ug) per cubic litre for any pesticide degradation product, or metabolite. Greenpeace alleges that negotiations at EU level have pressured the government into finally accepting higher concentrations for certain metabolites deemed "irrelevant".
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