As part of its long bid for European Union membership, Turkey has announced that 74 pesticides – out of a total of 135 considered as illegal in the EU – are off limits because they are poisonous.
Th e decision by the Ankara government comes as another step in Turkey’s restructuring of its environmental regulations and laws. Others ranged from ecological building to a new renewable energy initiative.
This cut in the list of chemicals allowed in agriculture is considered as relatively unimportant: Turkish agricultural officials have been reported to say that these first 74 chemicals are not often used in Turkish agriculture. Six more chemicals will be taken off the list of allowed substances next year. The real challenge, according to official sources, comes with the remaining 55: they will be harder to eliminate because they are some of the most crucial pesticides to local farmers.
A board member of the Adana Chamber of Agricultural Engineers told the Turkish daily Hurriyet that the European demands to complete the clean up of allowed chemical substances may be out of touch: “Some pesticides – he claimed – are only a health risk when used incorrectly. Some of them are not needed in the EU as the products for which these pesticides are used are not widespread or there are other alternatives. However, Turkey has continued to sell them because it could not develop any alternatives.”