Pesticides: Europeans are concerned about the harmful impact on health and that of the planet

Pesticides: Europeans are concerned about the harmful impact on health and that of the planet

Europeans are sensitive to the issue of pesticides and aware of the risks they represent. More than 80% of them say they are concerned about the environmental impact of these substances, according to a survey carried out in six member states of the European Union.

Published by the European non-governmental organization Pesticide Action Network Europe, the survey was carried out in Denmark, Europe, Central Europe, Poland, Romania and Spain. One of the most striking findings of this survey is that Europeans seem perfectly aware of the harmful impact of pesticides.

A worrying health and environmental impact

All countries combined, 75.9% of respondents say they are concerned about the effects that these substances can have on human health. Residents of Poland and Romania are those who are the most worried (80.4% and 84.1% respectively).

But the reluctance becomes even stronger when the health of the planet is mentioned: 81.8% of those questioned are concerned about the environmental impact of the use of pesticides. Furthermore, 77.7% of those questioned believe that the use of pesticides harms the environment, especially in Europe (82.5%) and Poland (80.3%).

Precautionary principle and popular buffer zones

In this context, an overwhelming majority of respondents (85.3%) say they are in favor of stopping the use of a specific pesticide.if new scientific evidence emerges indicating that a particular pesticide may harm human health and/or the environment“. This is particularly the case for the most controversial of all: glyphosate. A majority of those questioned (62%) think that this pesticide (which remains one of the most used in the EU, notably Roundup) should be banned in the EU. This is particularly the case for the French (70.49%) and the Germans (68.33%).

Among the most effective measures to protect individuals in terms of health, 42% of respondents favor the establishment of “buffer zones” at 1,000 meters or 3,000 meters. This term refers to the distance between places where pesticides are used and sensitive areas, such as schools, kindergartens, hospitals, retirement homes or even bodies of water.

NO to diets, YES to WW!

The relative confidence of Europeans in their government

Citizens who participated in the survey were also asked about their confidence in the ability of their country’s governments to protect the health of citizens and the environment when it comes to specific uses. pesticides. Spaniards (66.2%) and Danes (48.8%) have the highest levels of trust. Conversely, around half of Romanians (50.3%) do not trust their government, as do the French (46.7%) and Poles (44.8%).

This survey allows policymakers to draw important lessons regarding negotiations on the proposal on the sustainable use of pesticides (SUR), the glyphosate file, as well as the current procedures for the authorization of pesticides in general”conclude the authors of the investigation.

Survey carried out by the market research agency Ipsos, among 6,059 participants, in six EU Member States. The survey was conducted with samples of approximately 1,000 citizens per country.