It sounds like some bad joke: if a plant protection product is banned in the European Union, it can no longer be sold in the countries to which it belongs. However, exporting to other countries is still possible. This rule really doesn’t make sense. Because if a substance is banned for good reasons, it should not be used in distant parts of the world. In fact, that is exactly what is happening: last year 8,525 tons of active ingredients in pesticides were exported from Germany for which there is no approval in the European Union. For classification: A total of 53,020 tons were exported. The share of critical exports is therefore at least 16 percent. However, this will change in the future. In any case, German Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir has now announced a corresponding initiative. As in France and Switzerland, the export of unauthorized pesticides should be banned in these countries.
The best solution would be a global ban
This is justified on the one hand by the health risks to which small farmers in other countries have been exposed as a result of previous practices. In addition, it cannot be ruled out that the plants treated with the banned substances will eventually end up in Europe again. The Ministry also refers to the issue of competitiveness. Fair competition must be ensured by a worldwide ban on the corresponding plant protection products. Exactly here, however, Özdemir still has to drill very thick planks. Until now, the export has not even been banned at the level of the European Union. At the very least, the European Commission wants to argue for an end to its use at international level. However, the question is whether she will succeed. Otherwise, the German export ban is an important step, but does not really solve the problem on a global level.
There are also similar problems with chemicals
The fundamental problem does not only exist in agriculture. On the contrary, there is a similar situation with other chemicals. For example, the textile industry in this country must stop using nonylphenols and nonylphenol ethoxylates. However, export to other countries is still possible. It is then no longer possible to control how the chemicals are used. However, measurements in German waters show that many textiles treated with it have clearly found their way back and were released during washing. Theoretically, therefore, the import of clothing that was too heavy was prohibited. However, the control of this regulation appears to be difficult to implement. A complete export ban, on the other hand, is difficult because the chemicals are also used for harmless products. This is not the case with the banned pesticides, so Özdemir’s initiative has a better chance of success.