Minister of Environment and EU Commissioner for Health on ‘hot’ problems2017-01-03
Today, Minister of Environment Kęstutis Navickas has met with Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, to discuss problems particularly relevant for the Commissioner’s activity sector and related to environmental protection.
One of such problems is the use of endocrine disrupting chemicals and their identification criteria. The increased use of these chemicals in agriculture leads to the growing number of diseases caused by them and the enlarged negative effect on flora and fauna. According to Vytenis Andriukaitis, in order to solve this problem the European Commission and all the EU member states should reach an immediate agreement and set out uniform criteria for identifying chemical substances as endocrine disruptors.
The minister has proposed addressing this problem at political level. Although restrictions on the use of endocrine disrupting chemicals would have an economic effect on agriculture, they are inevitable in order to protect human health and wildlife stability. Kęstutis Navickas has promised to discuss this problem also with the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Health.
The EU Commissioner’s greatest concern is the growing antimicrobial resistance. The number of bacterial species resistant to any antibiotics is on the rise. This problem is also related to the agricultural sector. The regulation of antibiotics as a cure for domestic animals is much more relaxed than that of antibiotics for humans. The growing antimicrobial resistance is affecting biodiversity as well. The EU Commissioner has asked the minister to raise the question on the need for adopting a Directive on Veterinary Medicine at the EU Environment Council.
The meeting has also dealt with the combating of African swine fever. It has been agreed that the management of the wild boar population is a very important measure in this fight.
One more ‘hot’ issue in the discussion has been food wastage. The minister has informed the EU Commissioner that the Ministry of Environment is taking the leadership role to solve this problem. Consultations have already been launched with both businesses and social partners.