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Agriculture Ministers adopt Plant Protection Product Regulation

Today the EU’s Agriculture Ministers, headed by Slovenian Minister of Agriculture Iztok Jarc, by a significant majority and with the support of the European Commission adopted the Regulation on placing plant protection products on the market. Mr Jarc stressed that reaching political agreement after two years of EU Council discussions on the Regulation was a great achievement for the Slovenian Presidency, adding that one of the chief aims of the new Regulation is to enforce the high standards needed to prevent harmful effects of plant protection products on human and animal health or the environment.

The Minister also pointed out that, in defining criteria for the approval of active substances, consideration had been given to the influence of plant protection products on the long-term food supply in the European Union.

The new arrangements totally prohibit the marketing and use of substances proven to be carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic for reproduction. In exceptional cases, when available products do not offer sufficiently effective plant protection, other hazardous substances may be used, but only under strictly regulated conditions. This transitional period shall not exceed five years.

The new Regulation encourages replacing hazardous plant protection products with safer products. In addition, it will no longer be possible to grant provisional authorisation to products still in the process of registration unless the EU-level assessment lasts longer than two and a half years.

Regardless of the implementation of the system of mutual recognition of registered preparations in three EU zones, the Member States will be able to reject the mutual recognition of registration of certain products or restrict their application in the event of specific national environmental protection or agro-technological circumstances.

Under the new arrangements, professional consumers and producers of plant protection products will have to keep records of the use of these products, an area not previously uniformly regulated at EU level.

The Regulation simplifies the rules for the protection of intellectual property data and restricts the duplication of tests on vertebrates.


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Date: 27.06.2008