GMO news related to Belgium

13.02.2020 |

Epic battle over green farming divides EU departments

DG ENV officials reckon DG AGRI is out to block real change.

Two European Commission departments are at war over how much action is needed to make the EU's farming system more environmentally friendly.

Agriculture is one of the most fundamental components of the EU budget and receives about €59 billion of subsidies each year. Politically protected farmers, however, have long avoided tough, binding targets to go green, despite producing about 10 percent of Europe's emissions.


Though it is unclear whether it is an official policy position, much of the document appears to be a response to a draft of DG ENV's biodiversity strategy, obtained by POLITICO earlier this month. That strategy called for a 2030 target to slash the use of pesticide and fertilizers by 30 percent.

But DG AGRI's document suggests the EU should not set targets for reducing the use or risks of pesticides, and instead focus on "providing alternatives and enhancing the introduction of alternative pest management." It says it would be "meaningless" from a public health perspective to reduce the "volume or value of a long set of very diverse substances."

The EU has committed to measures to "significantly reduce" the risk and use of agricultural chemicals in the Green Deal.