MEPs water down EU plan to curb pesticide use

First-reading vote rejects reduction targets for all pesticides, backs aerial spraying ban and buffer zones

The European parliament watered down EU legislative proposals to reduce pesticide use during a first reading vote on Tuesday. The parliament rejected a target to halve use of all pesticides within 10 years that was proposed by its environment committee in June (EED 26/06/07). Reduction targets should be set at national level, MEPs said.

But the parliament did retain an EU target for halving pesticide use by 2013 for two categories of substances: chemicals of "very high concern" as defined under the Reach chemical risk management policy and "toxic and very toxic" substances.

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