EUROPE -- One of the most common pesticides used in agriculture will soon be banned by the European Union after its safety and environment officials say that such pesticides pose both health and environmental concerns.
Chlorothalonil is a type of fungicide that prevents the growth of mold and mildew on crops. It is widely used in the fields in the US and the UK. The government is taking extra steps in ensuring that both the environment and the farmers are properly protected. However, farmers who use the pesticide say that the planned banning of such by the government is just "overly precautionary."
However, the ban was voted by the members of the European Union after the report was submitted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). They conducted a study of these pesticides and their report concluded that the breakdown components of the product may cause damage to the human DNA. EFSA, in its report, also said, "the chemical also poses a high risk to fish and amphibians." Recent studies also identified chlorothalonil and other fungicides used in growing fruits and vegetables in one of the strongest factors in the decline in the population of the bumblebees.
The regulators of the use of chemicals in farming and agriculture have falsely assumed that it was okay to use chemicals to help fight of molding and mildew in plants. According to the Chief Adviser on Sciences to the UK Government, the 2017 report on the industry shows that the farmers can do away with the use of pesticides without fear of losses. In addition, the United Nations (UN) has already denounced the use of pesticides and considered it a hindrance to providing the world with safe food items.
"The chlorothalonil ban is based on the scientific assessment conducted by EFSA which concluded that the pesticide has not passed the criteria that have been set for its review," said the European spokesperson. "Great concerns about how it could affect groundwater were also raised during the research."
Chlorothalonil has been widely used all over the world since it came out in the market in 1964. It has helped in the successful production of various plants including barley, wheat, peas, beans, and potatoes to name a few. However, EU is determined to put the ban down in late April of this year.
Though farmers are set to follow, they feel that the European Union and its officials are just overly precautionary about the decision. According to Chrisfield Hartfield, representative of the National Farmers Union of UK said, "the use of chlorothalonil is vital in the protection of our crops. We believe this might only put the agricultural and horticultural industries of the UK in greater risk."