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An Evaluation of Pesticide Use Reduction Policies in Scandinavia

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Beginning in 1986, the governments of two Scandinavian countries, Sweden and Denmark, adopted policies mandating reductions of 50% or more in the total use of agricultural pesticides. The Netherlands also adopted a mandatory reduction policy. Activist groups claim that these policies have worked and have urged European Union-wide policy support for similar programs. In 2009, the EU Sustainable Use Directive will be published. Under consideration are proposals to reduce the volume of pesticides used by requiring countries to put National Action Plans in place. The goal of these plans will be to set up “quantitative targets” and “to reduce risks and impacts of pesticide use”. Within the framework of these discussions, the pesticide industry association (ECPA) has criticised the proposals for quantitative reduction targets as non-workable and cited the Denmark program as a “failure.” The US has shown some interest in adopting mandatory reduction policies with bills proposed at the national and state levels. Some analysts have suggested that the European initiatives may be “handwriting on the wall” for future policy directions in the United States.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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