Podcast • 30 Mar 2022
Ukraine war, food crisis and a toxic lobbyBack to overview
In the latest episode of EU Watchdog Radio, we discuss the linkages between the Ukraine war, the food crisis and the subsequent ‘policy fall-out’. Agribusiness lobbies and their political allies abuse the crisis to derail and delay the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy.
A toxic lobby amplified by conservative politicians was very quick to start, calling for increased food production due to the Ukraine war. They called for the need for more fertilisers and pesticides as they wrongfully think that this is the only way to produce enough healthy food, whereas in fact their lobby is just about defending a billion Euro agrochemical business model, at the expense of ecosystems, farmers and the health of people alike.
In this episode, Nina Holland, researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) explains the interlinkages between her new report 'A loud lobby for a silent spring: the pesticide industry's toxic lobbying tactics against Farm to Fork' and the political opportunism abusing the horrible war in Ukraine.
Over a week ago, CEO exposed the immense and well-resourced lobby campaign against the EU Farm to Fork Strategy by pesticide lobby group CropLife Europe and their allies. On the same day, European Commission Agriculture commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski made statements implying that the Commission may be bowing to industry pressure and delay new pesticide rules. This anti-Farm to Fork lobby will certainly use this extra time to try and further derail the process.
Last week many civil society organisations deeply regretted that the much needed revision of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive is being postponed and asked the European Commission to officially present a new publication date with the briefest of delays. The European Commission was expected to publish the revision on March 23, setting the path for the legal implementation of the Farm to Fork. EU law obliges Member States to reduce the use of pesticides since 2009, but more than a decade later, they still argue against it and attack any EU initiative that would finally get them to respect both the law and the science.
We also talk to Martin Derminne, expert of Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe) who explains why the pesticide law is not being respected by the member states; Derminne also explains that the 50% pesticide reduction target that is now being postponed is in reality a non-issue because the farmers that already apply the EU-law from 2009 and thus use Integrated Pest Management already reduced their use of chemicals by 80 to 90%. A study shows for example that, in France, arable farmers could reduce their pesticide use by 30% without reducing their yield at all.
Who we are
This podcast is produced by CEO and Counter Balance. Both NGOs raise awareness on the importance of good governance in the EU by researching issues like lobbying of large and powerful industries, corporate capture of decision making, corruption, fraud, human rights violations in areas like Big Tech, agro-business, biotech & chemical companies, the financial sector & public investment banks, trade, energy & climate, scientific research and much more…
You can find us on iTunes, Spotify & Buzzsprout. Stay tuned for more independent and in-depth information that concerns every EU citizen!