Italy’s Ministry of Health has placed a number of restrictions on the use of glyphosate, one of the world’s most ubiquitous pesticides, according to a press release from Pesticide Action Network Europe.

The Italian restrictions ban the use of glyphosate in areas frequented by the public or by "vulnerable groups”, including children and the elderly. Application is banned in parks, gardens and courtyards; on the verges of roads and railways; in urban areas, sports fields and recreational areas; in playgrounds and green areas within school grounds; and in areas adjacent to health facilities.

In addition, the pre-harvest use of glyphosate – a process known as desiccation – is banned. The desiccation of crops by spraying glyphosate is a primary source for residual pesticide contamination at the consumer level. Finally, the non-agricultural use of glyphosate is banned on soils composed 80% or more of sand – a measure designed to protect groundwater from contamination.

This package of restrictions is significant as it marks one of the widest bans on both consumer and agricultural use of the controversial substance glyphosate. The restrictions were inspired by the new Implementing Regulation 2016/1313 issued by the European Commission on 1 August, which requires in particular that Member States encourage the development and introduction of integrated pest management and approaches or alternative techniques to reduce dependency on the use of pesticides.

PAN Europe said it welcomes the decision by Italy’s Ministry of Health and encourages other governments across Europe to adopt similar measures.

Source: Pesticide Action Network Europe

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