Can the European Agriculture Policy finally reorient to boost nature and health or is it destined to drive factory farms, chemical-laden monocultures, and global deforestation? While the safety and quality of food in Europe has improved over the past decades, the negative impacts on the climate, biodiversity and health from our agriculture system have been acknowledged only recently, despite NGOs and scientists raising concerns for more than two decades.


The European Commission is now committing Europe to ‘become the global standard for sustainability’ and promises that the EU Farm to Fork Strategy will strengthen farmers’ efforts to tackle climate change, protect the environment and preserve biodiversity.

A big push is underway to reduce chemical inputs, not just pesticides, but also fertilizers and antibiotics. The cumulative effect on human health of prophylactic use of antibiotics in intensive livestock production has been to contribute to antibiotic resistance; the effects of widespread, multi-annual use of pesticides has been destructive for nature, killing insects, butterflies and bees; reducing the quality of soil and harming hedgerows; as well as entering groundwater and harming human health through high levels of pesticide residues.

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