Three-hundred pesticides to be withdrawn

Some 320 pesticides will be withdrawn from the European market in July 2003 as part of the European Commission’s new approach to evaluating active ingredients in plant protection products.

Users, wholesalers and retailers of plant products will need to be aware of whether the products they use or sell are likely to be withdrawn, warns the EU. Those concerned should contact relevant authorities to check the status of any particular product.

For substances remaining on the market, manufacturers must prove their products reach the required safety standards, submitting test data to the European Food Safety Authority by May 2003. Some temporary exemptions will be granted for substances with “essential uses” with no readily available alternative and no concerns linked to their restricted use.

A further 150 substances could also be withdrawn in July 2003 if a second notification is adopted by the Commission. The total removed will be more than 60% of all the substances that were on the market in 1993. The Commission aims to have ruled on all active pesticide substances by the end of 2008, completing the harmonisation of Directive 91/414 on the authorisation, use and control of plant protection products.

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