Europe- Belgium has the highest percentage of fruits and vegetables that are contaminated with toxic pesticides that are linked to a range of chronic diseases in Europe, as per the reports.
Along all of the nations of which data has been analysed, Belgium has most frequently produced contaminated fruits and vegetables in which the most toxic pesticides were discovered in 34 percent of the nation’s samples, followed by Ireland at 26 percent, France at 22 percent, Italy 21 percent and Germany 20 percent, according to the Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN) report.
In the report, it has been mentioned, “The dramatic rise in dangerous pesticides found on fruits and vegetables sold in Europe is evidence that governments are failing their legal obligations.”
In addition, the nation produced pears with the highest level of “Candidates for Substitution” pesticides, for which the Government should be seeking more sustainable as well as favourable alternatives. Belgium also ranked in second place when it came to producing lettuces with the highest level of such toxins.
The category of pesticides analysed is “the single most dangerous and most heavily regulated category of pesticides.” These are linked to many chronic diseases, including cancers, cardiovascular problems and diabetes, but can also be highly toxic to the environment, poisoning rivers and other precious ecosystems.
Apart from looking at the percentage of contaminated fruit, PAN also investigated whether the use of toxic pesticides has declined in recent years, as is claimed by the European Commission, which stated that there was a 12 percent reduction in 2019 compared to 2015- 2017.
Furthermore, under the 2020 European Union Farm to Fork Strategy, the use of this category of most hazardous pesticides should be halved by 2030 in the European Union.
However, the PAN’s report discovered that the European Union is moving further away from this goal rather than coming close to attaining it.