The food and health ministers, Esben Lunde Larsen and Ellen Trane Nørby, have been summoned today to explain how they will ensure that approved pesticides won’t in future lead to dangerous resitance to medication at hospitals.
The news comes after it emerged there were doubts over the approval of new pesticides and their future impact on humans developing a resistance to vital medication.
“I expect that the ministers take the issue seriously. We can see that pesticides have been approved in Denmark that risk leading to resistance, leaving us unable to treat humans with life-saving medication,” Maria Reumert Gjerding, a spokesperson for Enhedslisten party, told DR Nyheder.
Four toxins that are used to battle fungae in the agriculture insdutry are nearly identical to a vital fungae medication given to critically-ill lung patients.
And for a small number of patients with weak immune systems, an infection with such a fungae can have lethal consequences because the medical treatment doesn’t work on the resistant fungae.
A, E and SF: Ban it!
Larsen has explained that, as it currently stands, pesticides are not tested for their ability to develop a cross-resistance during the approval process – not in Denmark or in the EU.
Larsen contended that there wasn’t enough scientific documentation showing a link between resistance in the environment and in humans, but added: “If the hypothesis regarding the transfer of resistance from the environment to people is correct, then I must of course act on it. I also expect the commission and other EU countries to agree to that.”
It is the so-called azole fungicides that risk giving resitance problems – they are particularly popular in crops with wheat.
As of now, Alternativet, Enhedslisten and Socialistisk Folkeparti all want to ban the azole fungicides, but Socialdemokratiet and Radikale want more information before making a decision.