Illegal pesticides, the scourge that plagues Europe

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They are cheaper, but more dangerous, and they invade the Old Continent. The Italian business daily The sun 24 hours investigated the sale of illegal pesticides. A parallel market which makes European producers “certified” lose 1.3 billion per year.

“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every year, pesticides poison three million people and cause the death of 200,000 of them ”. This statistic, relayed by the Milanese daily The sun 24 hours, perfectly indicates how delicate the subject of pesticides is. You would think that this problem only concerns developing countries, “Where most of the deaths are concentrated”, but the Old Continent also has cause for concern.

Indeed, if, as the transalpine newspaper explains, “The European Union only markets authorized and safe products” and if “in recent years it has banned around 60% of pesticides from old production because of their too high toxicity index ”, these measures have paradoxically created another problem:

New authorized products are on average more expensive, which is why an illegal parallel market which offers reduced prices has emerged. A trade that endangers the health of farmers and consumers. ”

We stick false labels and voila

According to a Europol survey [l’agence européenne de police criminelle], relayed by The sun 24 hours, “Trafficking in illegal pesticides is carried out by certain criminal organizations which also have other illegal activities, such as trafficking in cigarettes or pharmaceuticals”. According to the daily economic, these groups have an easy life since “they just need to stick fake legal brand labels on their product ”. This is why, says the transalpine newspaper, “In the past two decades, the trade in illegal pesticides has become one of the most profitable global trades.”

Result, according to figures provided byEU, “It is estimated that 14% of pesticides present on the European market are illegal today, and this percentage rises to 25% for certain countries, among which Italy”, details the daily life in the Alps.

11,700 lost jobs

Regarding the origin of this traffic, 80% of the “contraband” pesticides arriving on the Old Continent are produced in China, says The sun 24 hours. In the Asian country, there are indeed many pesticide factories, legal and illegal. From there, the products can arrive in EU across “porous” borders, like those between Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria.

In economic terms, according to Europol statistics relayed by the Milanese daily, “the area [légal] of pesticides loses around 1.3 billion euros per year, due to counterfeit products entering theEU. If we consider the indirect effect on other sectors, this trade causes a shortfall of 2.8 billion euros, which involves the loss of around 11,700 jobs ”.


Founded in 1865, it is the leading Italian daily newspaper in economic matters and one of the best-selling daily newspapers in Italy. Austere, he is nonetheless extremely well informed. To consolidate his leadership, he now tends to leave more


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