Pesticides use is a major contributor to climate change. And Israelis are exposed to pesticides every day in their healthy diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, and in the places where they live, work, study and play.
Pesticide use – regulations & oversight
Strengthening regulations and oversight of pesticides is complicated by the proliferation and overlapping priorities of government agencies (three Ministries and two Authorities).
Adam Teva V’Din’s commitment to reducing pesticides use means that we represent the public on multiple fronts, submitting our professional comments and suggestions to all relevant official committees.
Our focus is on advancing the following important issues:
Early in our advocacy program, we drafted a legislative Public Health Protection Bill (Reducing Pesticide Risks). It calls for a national strategy for using, managing and overseeing pesticides use. The bill is modeled on similar laws in force in many countries, but it has not yet entered into Israeli law.
We are also working to ban in Israel the use of hazardous substances already outlawed in Europe. Our efforts have led to a multiparty discussion on reducing use of chlorpyrifos and on banning another dangerous substance, iprodione, and others.
Pesticides in Food – Right to Know
Adam Teva V’Din is working for improved transparency in regard to food-inspections, particularly in regard to the Maximum Residue Levels in produce reaching the Israeli public. In response, the Ministry of Agriculture recently began releasing information on the number and scope of tests conducted on pesticides in produce.
Equally importantly, consumers have a right to know about the source of fruit and vegetables in the Israeli marketplace; only an effective traceability program will ensure that produce is traced and tracked throughout the supply chain. Fresh produce is often imported from other countries in our region, several of which use hazardous substances banned in Israel yet consumers are not notified where the produce originated. In response to our pressure, the Ministry of Agriculture recently issued a Memorandum of Law as a basis for more stringent anchoring of traceability processes and obligations throughout the food chain.
Keeping chemicals away from schools
Children are particularly sensitive to exposure from chemicals in the places where they learn and play. After we raised awareness of the dangers of pesticides spraying adjacent to schools and kindergartens and resultant public pressure, the government issued new guidelines that designate appropriate spraying times, frequencies and distances from places of education.
Promoting a Zero Pesticides agenda
We’ve been campaigning for municipalities to reduce their use of pesticides in urban parks, playgrounds and open spaces. With growing awareness of the risks associated with chemical spraying in public areas, dozens of local have begun transitioning away from toxic chemicals use and towards sustainable gardening practices.
Working with municipal leaders
In collaboration with the Kfar Saba municipality, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Regional Environmental Unit-Sharon, the Forum of Municipalities, and with community activists, we’ve been conducting lectures and webinars to get municipal landscapers aware of their options. Recently, one webinar attracted nearly 100 employees of local authorities.