|Pesticide Action Network Updates Service (PANUPS)
See PANUPS updates service, for complete information. German Study Shows Potential for Pesticide Use Reduction
December 21, 2001
A recent study released by Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Germany outlines key principles to guide pesticide use reduction strategies. Entitled “From Law to Field: Pesticide Use Reduction in Agriculture — From Pesticide Residue Analyses to Action, ” the study advises how to meet European Union (EU) pesticide use reduction targets that were set for 2000 but have not yet been implemented.
Two key findings of the study are that pesticide use reduction analyses are most effective if they are crop specific and if they incorporate parties beyond the farm, including regulators, food retailers and consumers. While based exclusively on German research and data, the study also provides a framework for analysis and action applicable to other crops and countries in the EU and beyond.
The report consists of three sections: a pesticide residue study, a risk analysis and case studies on apples and wheat. Since pesticide use data organized by crop and active ingredient are unavailable in Germany, the study first examines pesticide residues in food and the environment — including residues in ground-, rain- and surface- water, soil, air and human and animal tissue — to evaluate plant protection practices. The data, covering the period of 1997 through 2001, document 119 different pesticide residues including 58 in food, 59 in surface water and 61 in groundwater.
Apples and wheat were chosen as case studies because the crops have a high number of residues associated with their cultivation, are grown on a large scale and represent different production systems.
Although integrated pest management (IPM) techniques are widespread in German apple orchards, apple production in Germany is still characterized by the intensive use of pesticides. The apple case study finds that further pesticide use reduction could only be expected with a move towards fully organic production methods and increased use of resistant apple varieties.
Source: PAN Germany, “From Law to Field: Pesticide Use Reduction in Agriculture — From Pesticide Residue Analyses to Action,” November 2001, available at http://www.pan-germany.org/download/law-field.pdf.
Contact: PAN Germany, Nernstweg 32, D-22765 Hamburg, Germany; phone 49-403-9919-100; fax 49-403-90-75-20; email firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site http://www.pan-germany.net/index.htm.
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