EU Pesticide Policy: A Safer Future for Irish Agriculture!

EU Pesticide Policy

EU Pesticide Policy: A Safer Future for Irish Agriculture!

The European Union (EU) has been at the forefront of shaping policies that impact agriculture across its member states, including Ireland. One such policy, the EU pesticide policy, has profound implications for Irish agriculture. In this blog, we’ll dive into the research paper titled “European Union policy on pesticides: implications for agriculture in Ireland” and explore how it directly aligns with the testing offered by Southern Scientific Services.


Understanding EU Pesticide Policy:

European Community legislation has imposed limitations on the availability of pesticide-active substances used in effective plant protection products. The Pesticide Authorisation Directive 91/414/EEC initially introduced a risk assessment-based approval system for pesticide active substances. However, this approach was modified by Regulation (EC) 1107/2009, which shifted the focus from risk to hazard, emphasising the intrinsic toxicity of the active substance for approval. Updating the EU pesticide policy has the final objective of maintaining and improving agricultural production while protecting public health. The overarching goal is to strike a balance between maintaining and enhancing agricultural production while safeguarding public health and the environment.

Summary of the EU pesticide policy: 

  • Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, along with Regulation (EC) No. 396/2005, sets standards for plant protection products and pesticide residue levels in food and feed.
  • Directive 2009/128/EC, known as “The Sustainable Use Directive,” and Regulation (EC) No 1185/2009 focus on sustainable pesticide use and pesticide statistics.
  • Residues, defined by Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, encompass substances resulting from pesticide usage, including metabolites and breakdown products.
  • Maximum residue levels, defined in Regulation (EC) No. 396/2005, establish legal concentration limits for pesticide residues in food and feed, ensuring consumer safety while adhering to good agricultural practices.

Impact of EU Pesticide Policy on Irish Agriculture:

  1. Impact on Pesticide Availability: The study points out that the EU pesticide policy and evolving regulations are poised to reduce the availability of pesticide active substances over the medium to long term. This can significantly influence crop protection practices in Ireland, affecting farmers’ ability to combat pests and diseases effectively.
  2. Water Quality Regulations: Regulations tied to water quality, including directives like the Water Framework Directive and Drinking Water Directive, can swiftly restrict pesticide use. The concern for public health and the economic costs linked to removing pesticides from water sources is growing. Southern Scientific Service’s water testing services play a pivotal role in ensuring compliance with these regulations.
  3. Pesticide Resistance: The limited availability of effective pesticide active substances may exacerbate pesticide resistance issues among pest and disease populations, presenting challenges for sustainable pest management in Irish agriculture.
  4. Impact on Active Substances: Water quality requirements can also influence the use of vital active substances integral to plant protection in Ireland. This dynamic regulatory landscape poses questions about the availability and viability of these substances.


Eu Pesticide Policy


Solutions offered by Southern Scientific Services to Comply with the EU Pesticide Policy:

This research paper underscores the need for comprehensive testing and consultancy services in the agriculture sector.

  • We at Southern Scientific Services specialise in pesticide analysis and soil testing, which are essential components given the water quality regulations tied to pesticide use.
  • By ensuring that water sources meet the required standards, we help farmers comply with the EU pesticide policy and safeguard public health.
  • Furthermore, our consultancy services can assist Irish farmers in navigating this evolving regulatory framework.
  • We can provide guidance on integrated pest management practices, alternative crop protection strategies, and adapting to reduced pesticide inputs while maintaining productivity and profitability.


In conclusion, the European Union’s pesticide policy is a topic of utmost importance for Irish agriculture. Southern Scientific Services stands ready to support farmers and the agricultural industry in meeting these challenges head-on, ensuring the sustainability of Irish agriculture while adhering to evolving regulations and protecting the environment.

We recommend our soil testing services for farmers to ensure you are complying with the EU pesticide policy!

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1. Jess, Stephen et al. “European Union policy on pesticides: implications for agriculture in Ireland.” Pest management science vol. 70,11 (2014): 1646-54. doi:10.1002/ps.3801

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