Denmark Headed for Trouble with Commission over Pesticide Ban

A proposal for a national ban on private use of pesticides, under consideration by the Danish environment ministry, looks set to bring Denmark into conflict with the European Commission.

Though the contribution from private households and public bodies to the total use of pesticides in Denmark is small — accounting for less than 5% in 1997 — it has proven to be particularly damaging to the environment, the government argues.

Local authorities have just agreed to government plans to end pesticide use on public land by 2003, excepting only a few specific areas such as airports and railways. But the idea of a ban on private use is being challenged by legal experts who argue it would run counter to EU trade rules.

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