Press Release - Friends of the Irish Environment - Sept 2021
Less than half the number of signatures required from Ireland  to join in a European Citizens' Initiative on controlling pesticides have been gathered with less than one month left to meet the quota.
The Initiative seeks the goal of a 50% reduction phasing out the use pesticides by 2030.
To be accepted for consideration by the Commission, the Initiative requires 1,000,000 signatures with 7 member states reaching their required threshold. While 8 countries have reached their quota meeting this requirement, Ireland has 3,493 signatures, almost 4757 signatures short of the 8250 signatures required to join the initiative.
To support a European Citizens' Initiative, you must be an EU citizen and be old enough to vote in European Parliament elections (18 except Austria where the voting age is 16). The total number of signatures to date is 731,706, 27% short of the overall required 1,00,000. The closing date is September 30, 2021.
According to the conservation charity Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE], ‘The goals to protect biodiversity set in the European Green Deal are under serious pressure. This became apparent in negotiations on the Common European Agricultural Policy (CAP) as Member States decided to reject the Commission’s proposal to link agricultural subsidies to the reduction of pesticide use.’
‘The European Citizens' Initiative is a unique way for the public to support the Commission against those Member States who oppose reductions in the use of pesticides. Once an initiative reaches the 1 million signatures, the Commission will decide on what action to take.’
The Irish petition is available at: https://www.savebeesandfarmers.eu/eng
Contact: Caroline Lewis, 087 2176316
Pesticide accounted for 33% of the number of public water supplies where failures to meet the microbiological or chemical standards were notified to the EPA in 2019. 
80% of all pesticide detections in Ireland are MCPA, used by farmers to control broad-leaf weeds as a growth regulator primarily in pasture and cereal crops field since 1945. Overdose application of MCPA acts as an herbicide and results in abnormal growth. According to Irish Water, even the foil cap from a MCPA pesticide container is enough to cause an exceedance in a 30km stretch of stream. 
 The threshold is the number of the Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by the total number of Members of the European Parliament. Ireland’s target is thus 8,261 signatures, but only 3,493 have signed so far.
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