New position paper on the management of pesticide residues in organic products
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New position paper on the management of pesticide residues in organic products

We are glad to announce that IFOAM Organics Europe releases today a new position paper on the Management of Pesticide Residues in Organic Products.

The position paper represents a real milestone and provides for a guide that has been expected from many organic stakeholders within and outside the EU. With this position paper we aim to make it widely recognized that organic production is performed in a contaminated world with the omnipresence of pesticides having all its adverse consequences as well as we propose a harmonized approach to the management of residue cases under the relevant rules set by the EU Organic Regulation by operators and by control bodies/authorities.

The new position paper in the final outcome of IFOAM Organics Europe’s Pesticide Use & Contamination project, the main objective of which was to agree on a common approach of the organic sector and movement on how to deal with pesticide residue findings still before 2025, when the Commission will issue the report on implementation of current rules and a possible legislative proposal for an improved harmonisation.

To achieve that, the project had four purposes:

  • understanding the level of pesticide presence and contamination affecting the food and farming sector, with a focus on organic and the environment,
  • understanding how competent authorities, control bodies & authorities and organic operators are dealing with pesticide presence and contamination,
  • reaching a fair and improved legislative framework for the organic agri-food sector with harmonized procedures for operators, control bodies & authorities in case of residue findings,
  • better integration of the IFOAM principles of organic farming into EU legislative frameworks (Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 on Plant Protection Products) and stronger coherency of indicators in the framework of the application of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive (SUD) 2009/128/EC.

In the project context and thanks to the collaboration with FiBL, the following deliverables and scientific reports were produced:

  • a scientific article titled “Presence of pesticides in the environment, transition into organic food, and implications for quality assurance along the European organic food chain – A review”, published in the scientific journal Environmental Pollution,
  • a policy brief based on the article, published in the Swiss journal Agrar Forschung Schweiz,
  • a report on contaminants in food products based on a comprehensive survey broadly circulated to organic stakeholders and analysing 130 replies from 21 EU and non-EU countries,
  • a report based on a questionnaire sent to 220 European control bodies and authorities illustrating how they take decisions on residue cases,
  • a pilot study on spray drift on small organic vineyards in Switzerland.

The IFOAM OE Position Paper we publish now as the final outcome of the project, based on the above studies, reports and on a broad internal consultation process with our membership.

We would like to widely distribute it to EU Policy Makers, to organic stakeholders and to non-organic actors as well and use it as a tool for our on-going advocacy activities on the organic Regulation and on horizontal regulations related to plant protection products, such as the Regulation on Agricultural Inputs and Outputs (SAIO) and the future Regulation on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (SUR).Share this

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