SPAIN AGAINST REVISING ‘FLAWED’ SUR INDICATOR: The Spanish presidency doesn’t wish to open talks on the HRI-1 harmonized risk indicator, which is used to track progress on the pesticide reduction law (SUR), according to diplomats from other countries. Reminder: The indicator has been widely discredited for providing inaccurate information. Green groups say HRI-1 gives the false impression that pesticide use is declining in the EU, when in fact the opposite is true. The European Court of Auditors has also said the indicator is “limited” because it calculates risk based on pesticide sales data, rather than on how the chemicals are actually used. The Commission has previously acknowledged the indicator’s limitations, and said that it will be revised when more accurate data on pesticide use become available, which may not be until 2028. There’s a way: In her draft Parliament position, Greens MEP Sarah Wiener proposed a quick fix for the indicator until data on pesticide use becomes available. The fix allows for sales data to be harmonized and removes a calculation factor that gives more weight to highly toxic pesticides that have already been withdrawn from the market, to the detriment of more natural substances. No way, José: During a Monday working party, Spanish representatives ruled out holding a dedicated discussion on revising the indicator before their mandate ends. “This is really bad, because we are in the process of adopting a completely new regulation, so of course this indicator has to be robust as well,” one diplomat said. Observed another: “They for sure don’t want to talk about HRI-1.”
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