Report: transatlantic trade agreement could increase toxic pesticide use

NGO warns that regulations for harmful pesticides would be weakened by policy proposed in a transatlantic trade agreement.

International trade agreement proposals could roll back protections from harmful pesticides in the US and EU, according to a new report (pdf) expected to be released Wednesday.

As part of the transatlantic trade agreement being negotiated behind closed doors, trade groups have recommended policies – under the banner of lifting trade barriers – that could impact pesticide regulations in both the US and the European Union. The proposals put forward by CropLife America and the European Crop Protection Association would reduce protection compared to the more stringent pesticide standards already in place in the EU and in individual US states, said the Center for International Environmental Law, or Ciel.

“If adopted, these recommendations will thwart pesticide regulation that is vital for protecting workers, consumers and communities,” said Erica Smith, the report’s lead author.

Advocates for the US organic food business believe such a policy could jeopardize the value of their products. In 2013, US sales of organic food products were$35.1bn, up more than 11% from 2012 and worth nearly three times more than US agricultural exports to the EU.

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