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The new fertilizer regulation: a starting point for cadmium control in European arable soils?

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Bioaccumulation of cadmium (Cd) in the agricultural soil constitutes a dangerous risk for the health of both the environment and humans. Especially in the European Union, a large amount of Cd in agricultural topsoil originates from mineral fertilizer application. In this context, the EU has recently adopted the Regulation (EU) 2019/1009 with the aim to establish stricter limits for Cd presence in fertilizer products and to promote a higher use of fertilizers from organic sources. This paper discusses the future implications of the new regulation to limit the presence of cadmium (Cd) in agricultural soils and food products. The Regulation (EU) 2019/1009 represents an important step of the EU circular economy action plan with its aim to encourage the production of low cadmium content fertilizers. This paper focuses on the limits of the Regulation (EU) 2019/1009 and on the need for complementary policy instruments to protect and conserve agricultural soil health. We highlight the recently proposed, and subsequently withdrawn, EU Soil Framework Directive (SFD) as a meaningful complementary policy tool in the context of a renewed effort to pursue protection and conservation of soil health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140876
JournalScience of the total Environment
Volume745
ISSN0048-9697
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

    Research areas

  • Cadmium, EU policies, Food safety, Soil framework directive, Soil health protection

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