With the so-called Green Deals, the government is promoting the development of a green economy and society to strengthen competitiveness, while reducing the burden on the environment and the dependency on fossil energy and scarce raw materials.
Green Deal for Green Plant Protection Products
Society is also paying increasing attention to the risks of using plant protection products and to their residues on food. For example, there are concerns about the harmful effects of plant protection products on people in the vicinity of farms, on the environment and on biodiversity. Promoting the use of green plant protection products (see definition) is intended to alleviate these societal concerns. In 2014, the Ministry of Economic Affairs signed a Green Deal for Green Plant Protection Products with the stakeholder organisations LTO, Natuur & Milieu, Bionext, Artemis, Nefyto and the Ctgb. Also involved are the Centre for Agriculture and Environment and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).
To accelerate the enhancement of the sustainability of plant protection in agriculture and horticulture, the Ctgb is working on a rapid assessment procedure for green, low-risk plant protection products. Based on the assessments of 10 products and 2 active substances, experience with this procedure has been acquired. During this project, the gaps in the current assessment methodologies were identified. Based on the current constraints in agriculture, these products and substances were selected in cooperation with industry organisations (Nefyto and Artemis). To enhance the learning effect, a broad range of products was chosen.
Together with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the other stakeholders, the Ctgb is exploring the possibility of a feasible and concise assessment framework for green plant protection products.
The ultimate aim is to advise the European Commission about simplifying the assessment procedures for low-risk substances and products.
It is no longer possible to include products or substances in the Green Deal project. However, the Ctgb will carefully assess all new applications for “green” products, and the lessons learned from the Green Deal project will be applied.
Green plant protection products are low-risk products. The Green Deal project considers green plant protection products to be of natural origin based on substances with a low risk for humans, animals, the environment and non-target organisms:
- plants, animals and microorganisms,
- certain minerals,
- synthetic substances that are identical to natural substances.