209 pesticides used in the EU could endanger humans or environment

Press release - July 27, 2016
27 July 2016 – Greenpeace Germany today published an updated version of The EU Pesticide Blacklist [1]. This catalogue, developed by an independent expert, classifies all pesticides authorised in the European Union according to their potential dangers for human health and the environment.

Christiane Huxdorff, ecological farming campaigner at Greenpeace Germany, said: “We have to get the most dangerous pesticides for people and the environment off our plates and out of our fields. One toxic chemical can’t just be replaced with another, as has happened with bee-killing neonicotinoids. The blacklist shows that the most toxic synthetic pesticides need to be phased out and replaced with safe, ecological methods.”
The report reviews the 520 active chemical ingredients allowed in the EU and evaluates them according to their potential danger. The blacklist itself contains the 209 most toxic pesticides, identified by their dangers to the environment or human health [2].

- 111 pesticides qualify for direct inclusion as they satisfy one or more criteria deemed dangerous for human health – such as glyphosate, which was classified by World Health Organisation cancer experts as a probable carcinogen.
- 62 pesticides are included for meeting criteria dangerous to the environment – such as neonicotinoid imidacloprid, which is known to be toxic to bees and beneficial insects.
- An additional 36 pesticides are listed because of their high overall score, combining different categories – such as the fungicide captan, which has carcinogenic and immunotoxic properties, and is known to be toxic to fish and beneficial organisms.

Notes to editors:
[1] Neumeister, Lars (2016) The EU Pesticide Blacklist, Greenpeace Germany e.V.
[2] Criteria evaluated in the scoring system: acute toxicity (short term toxicity user); carcinogenicity; mutagenicity; reproductive and developmental toxicity; operator toxicity (Acceptable Operator Exposure Level) and/or chronic toxicity (long term toxicity, expressed as ADI); immunetoxicity; acute toxicity (short term toxicity consumer expressed as ARfD); neurotoxicity; corrosive properties; explosive properties; endocrine effects on human health and environment; aquatic toxicity (algae); aquatic toxicity (invertebrate, fish); toxicity to birds (predator, parasitoid); toxicity to honey bees; toxicity to earth worm (indicator for soil dwelling organisms); bioaccumulation; persistence; leaching potential; volatility

For additional information on ecological farming, see: Tirado, Reyes (2015) “Ecological Farming - The seven principles of a food system that has people at its heart”, Greenpeace International

Please find the full report here.