Europe agrees a limit of toxic fertilizers as requested by employers

The limit of toxic cadmium allowed in European agricultural fertilizers will be 60 mg / kg. This is the minimum threshold that had qualified as eligible European employers of manufacturers Fertilizers Europe before the round of negotiations on Tuesday and multiplied by three the level of maximum security that had been proposed both by the European Commission and Parliament: 20 mg.

"In general, we welcome the agreement that supposes a balance and allows the industry to advance in the supply of quality fertilizers to European farmers," said the CEO of the employer's association, Jacob Hansen. The association had started by drawing the permissible line at 80 mg. to then insist that "i r beyond [de los 60 mg.] it is unnecessary from a scientific point of view and clearly harmful to European industry. "

This provisional agreement marks the position regarding the permissible amount proposed by the European Council (composed of national governments) to which Spain had finally joined. At the beginning of the talks, the Government of Mariano Rajoy had blocked the positions by demanding an even higher limit of 75 mg. The person in charge of the matter was the then Minister of Agriculture, Isabel García Tejerina, exalted director of the main Spanish manufacturer of fertilizers, Fertiberia.

The new regulation foresees that it revise this legal threshold seven years after it came into force (the Council requested that evaluation be carried out after 16 years). It also includes that the cadmium limit is only mandatory three years after the entry into force. Even so, manufacturers consider this "a challenge" since they had requested more transition time.

The limit of 20 mg has been relegated to a "voluntary label" for producers who want to offer it. Thus, this maximum heavy metal content has gone from being a mandatory proposal for the protection of the environment and health to become an option for those who wish to put it on the market.

"We have achieved a single limit in Europe for all pollutants, especially cadmium, which is one of the biggest concerns of the states," said the committee's rapporteur, "in a very sensitive aspect, this limit will be reviewed in seven years." of Environment of the Europarlamento, the popular Italian, Elisabetta Gardini.

One of the fundamental issues that have surrounded all the negotiations in the European Union has been the origin of phosphorus rock, the raw material of these fertilizers. The one extracted in Morocco contains more levels of cadmium than that from Russia. The states most opposed to lowering toxic thresholds exposed the danger of over-reliance on the Russian supplier.


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