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EU health chief recognises agchem challenges
Author管理员   Posted2011-05-30 10:57:50    Font:【big】【middle】【small
The European Commission recognises that new EU registration rules will pose “significant challenges for the pesticides industry in the short to medium term”, says EU Health and Consumers Commissioner John Dalli. He highlights measures to remove outdated chemicals from the market and impose strict requirements for new approvals as a “bold and decisive” step. “But the prize is certainly worth the effort for all concerned,” he says.
Mr Dalli was speaking at a conference on innovation in the EU food industry, held by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Health and Consumers Directorate-General in May. He was referring to the new EU agrochemical registration Regulation (1107/09), which will be implemented in 2011 despite bitter opposition from the agrochemical industry. The controversial rules will introduce hazard-based cut-off criteria, which will halt the approval process for active ingredients with hazardous properties. In addition, the imposition of comparative assessment and product substitution will see certain ais and products replaced if safer alternatives are available.
The industry is concerned over the potential loss of products from the market and believes that new ais will continue to be held up by ongoing delays in the EU registration process. However, Mr Dalli remained bullish that the new approval procedures will encourage the development of innovative, efficient and safer agrochemicals. The registration criteria will serve to “drive the industry forward through the gradual and progressive substitution of yesterday’s chemistry by better and safer products”, he maintained.
The genetically modified crop sector was also recognised as “challenging” by EFSA executive director Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle. The main reason was that data in this area can be limited and there may be “significant areas of scientific uncertainty to address and communicate”, she said. Mr Dalli repeated his assurances of science-based decision making on GMO approvals. However, he urged the biotechnology industry to “raise its game” by improving transparency. This included withholding confidential information only “to the minimum extent necessary”, immediate submission of any relevant information regarding product safety, and effective monitoring of GM crop cultivation.
Meanwhile, EU Agriculture Ministers praised the EU’s strict standards for agriculture and food at their May meeting. They called for greater recognition of the EU model at international level.

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