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Pesticide Action Week proves another great success

The 9th edition of the Pesticide Action Week has been a great success, with a significant increase of participating countries and activities this year. Several HEAL members actively took part throughout the week.

More than 1,360 activities were announced in more than 26 countries at this year’s Pesticide Action Week, in comparison to the previous year, when around 1000 activities took place in 16 countries. Several countries in Latin America (Costa Rica, Mexico and Argentina), Portugal and Israel participated for the first time.

The week was marked by a wide range of high-level activities, such as conferences on pesticides and alternatives in several countries, movie projections, petitions and big online campaigns in several languages to raise awareness about public health issues.

A group of HEAL members came together to call on French supermarkets to make their fruit and vegetables free of endocrine disrupting pesticides. Générations Futures, Réseau Environnement Santé (RES), Agir pour l’Environnement, and Appel de la Jeunesse as well as Les Désobéissants (non HEAL member) prepared an action outside the French supermarket giant Auchan in Paris to ask for evidence that there was an absence of endocrine disrupting pesticides residues in their fruit and vegetables. A two meter long list of suspected ED pesticides was presented by the organisations as well as information distributed to consumers.

This action was part of a coalition campaign on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) with the focus during Pesticide Action Week on the 10 biggest supermarket chains including Auchan and Carrefour. The message to them is rather positive, that they should not wait for policy decisions on EDCs but rather, focus on the consumers and require the relevant changes for the providers and subcontractors to supermarkets. The discussion with the local supermarket managing team was quite positive and the organisations hope for a meeting at the headquarters of Auchan.

On the closing day of Pesticide Action Week the new French Environment Minister announced that she is asking all mayors and local authorities to quickly move to pesticide free green spaces and public places.

More information on Pesticide Action Week here http://www.pesticideactionweek.org/

Originally posted on 11 April 2014

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