Forty-four percentage of vegetables for sale on the Spanish market in 2019 contained residues of harmful pesticides, according to the conclusions of the report Directo a tus hormonas: Guía de alimentos disruptores (Straight to your hormones: Guide on disrupting food), published by EDC-Free Europe partner Ecologistas en Acción last month.

The report puts the spotlight on the pesticide residues found in fruits and vegetables produced in Spain, some of which are endocrine disruptors. The findings are based on the official data of the Pesticide Residue Control Program for 2019 compiled by the Spanish Agency for Consumption, Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN), and show that:

  • 44.4% of vegetables and fruits contained pesticide residues.
  • Certain fruits, like strawberries, can contain up to 37 different types of pesticides, 25 of which can affect the hormone system.
  • 31% of the detected residues come from pesticides which are not authorised in the European Union.
  • The combined effect of the different pesticides, known as the pesticides cocktail effect, is impossible to evaluate, according to scientific experts.

The latest Eurostat data shows Spain as leading the sales of pesticides in Europe (75,190 tons in 2019, compared to 73,092 in 2018). The European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy, published in May 2020, already acknowledged the urgent need to reduce Europe’s dependency on pesticides. 

The European Citizens’ Initiative ‘Save Bees and Farmers’ is advocating for the phase-out of pesticides and for the protection of biodiversity. You can find more information and sign the petition, which has already been supported by 510 244 European citizens, in 5 languages (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish).

This petition, supported by many members of the EDC-Free Europe campaign, asks the European Commission and EU Parliament to reform the current EU agricultural policy to better protect health, save bees and support EU farmers to phase-out of the use of synthetic pesticides by 80% in 2030 and completely by 2035.