Environment: the most dangerous pesticides on the rise in Europe

Fruits and vegetables are increasingly contaminated with pesticides in Europe.

© Galina Belov/RFI

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

Fruits and vegetables produced in Europe are increasingly contaminated by pesticide residues classified among the most dangerous for health, according to a study published on Tuesday by the NGO PAN Europe for

Pesticide Action Network Europe


The analysis of nearly 100,000 fruit samples has shown a 50% increase over the last decade.


Read more

The figures contradict official data.

Meanwhile, the European Commission estimates that pesticide use has fallen by 12% in the European Union (EU), and is aiming for a 50% reduction in pesticide use by 50% by 2030 .

In the viewfinder of

PAN Europe

, there are 55 pesticides among the most toxic, according to European regulations themselves.

Their approval period is reduced and the States have the obligation to replace them with other products or methods as soon as possible.

►Also read

: Pesticides: good and bad students in the European Union


These may be substances that will particularly pollute the soil or be toxic to aquatic species.

It can also be substances that are suspected of endocrine disruption, classified as toxic for reproduction, category 2

 ”, explains Salomé Roynel, campaign manager for the NGO.

Very contaminated red fruits

Some are also suspected of being carcinogenic.

However, in 2019, despite the law, a European Commission report reveals that all these pesticides are still on the market, and that none have been replaced.

The worst is that the NGO PAN Europe reveals that they are found more and more, on fruits in particular.

 The most spectacular increase in recent years will be cherries, apples, pears, and first and foremost, kiwis.

Kiwis were almost immune to these substances in 2011 and today 30% are contaminated.

Those for which there was not necessarily an increase but which were already very contaminated, are red fruits: blackberries, raspberries and strawberries which, on average, are contaminated at 40%

 ”, continues Salomé Roynel.

The NGO calls for the immediate banning of the 12 most dangerous pesticides and the gradual banning of the others.


Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Environment

  • Agriculture and Fishing