A Big Week for the Future of Pesticide Authorization in the EU

The politically charged debate surrounding the future use of a number of key agricultural pesticides continues in Europe this week.

At the European Commission, the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (ScoPAFF) meet Oct. 5-6 to discuss the “EU Renewal of Glyphosate.” The license for glyphosate will expire this Dec. 15, and in order for the license to stand any chance of being renewed it is crucial to have a positive outcome from these discussions prior to that date.

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In advance of these meetings and in support of its commitment to EU farmers, Kleffmann attended a lunch discussion on Oct. 3 at the European Parliament (Strasbourg) to discuss the possible agricultural impact in case of a non-renewal. Dr. Bob Fairclough (Kleffmann Consulting Division) presented data from two recent Kleffmann studies that showed what the real cost to growers in Poland and Germany would be along with similar data for the UK; as undertaken by Oxford Economics.

As Fairclough explains, “There is little question that the social-economic costs associated with non-renewal far outweigh any perceived benefits.” Fairclough adds: “These costs also go well beyond “pounds and pence” and would have negative consequences for the environment; for instance, in the form of increasing CO2 emissions due to increased cultivation activity in the absence of glyphosate and for the consequent detrimental impact on soil structure for years to come.”

At essentially the same time (Oct. 4), MEPs in Strasbourg are voting on a draft Commission regulation amending Annex II to Regulation (EC)1107/2009 by setting out scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties. The decision of the MEPs, will impact the already complex re-registration process of a large number of key active ingredients, especially fungicides, in the EU.

The U.S., with it holistic approach to pesticide authorization — the risk-based approach as opposed to the hazard based approach — is unlikely to follow any negative outcome of these meetings from the EU. However, the U.S. is not immune from negative publicity and the influence that has on the political debate. This coupled with the obvious implications on trade of commodities where any glyphosate has been used does has important knock-on effects outside of the EU.

 

Kleffmann’s amis®AgriGlobe database of farmer surveys and product use information drives much of the company’s “top level” analysis. Now in its fifth year and hosted on the company’s software platform Kleffmann4you, the database segments product use by geography, crop types, active ingredients and seed varieties.