To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

April 23, 2008

Reducing EU-authorised pesticides likely to lead to increased pest-resistance

Leading European agricultural experts gathered in Ljubljana (Slovenia) on 22 April 2008 in order to present the Slovenian EU presidency with a declaration on potential risks of the proposed EU pesticide legislation. The scientists from seven countries fear that reducing the available range of pesticides could lower their efficiency as it is likely that it will increase resistance.

The scientist's concern is triggered by proposals announced by EU institutions to reform legislation on plant protection products. The European Parliament voted in favour of new legislation which would drastically reduce the number of authorised pesticides, in the coming

In the "Declaration of Ljubljana", participating scientists express their fear that such a move would endanger the sustainability of European farming. They conclude that the increased risk of
developing resistance to the few remaining substances could make the cultivation of many crops, including grapes, wheat, barley, cotton, fresh fruit, potatoes and vegetables, in Europe problematic, and or uncompetitive.

The scientists' spokesperson, Dr Ian Denholm, Head, Plant and Invertebrate Ecology Division, Rothamsted Research, UK pointed out that, "In order to safeguard the production of food at affordable prices, it is essential to provide farmers with access to sufficient diversity of crop protection solutions. This is essential to prevent or delay the development of resistant pests, and to maintain the efficacy of remaining crop protection products."

European Union legislation has already resulted in a reduction of the available portfolio of pesticides by more than 55% over the last decade.

Pest populations have the potential to develop resistance to crop protection products, particularly if they are regularly treated with a single product type. Once pests have developed a resistance to a certain group of crop protection products, their effectiveness is either significantly reduced or lost altogether. In the past, new crop protection products have often solved the problem. However, it takes an average of ten years and an investment of about 200 million Euros to develop and register a new pesticide.

Regulatory targets are already so stringent that the industry is only able to launch about five new active ingredients per year in Europe. The scientists therefore expressed their concern that the innovative capacity of the crop protection industry will not be able to replace the products which are likely to be removed from the market by the proposed legislation, or those which will as a result, be lost to resistance. This would lead to lower crop yields and higher food prices.

From a resistance management point of view, the crop protection products portfolio in Europe has already been very seriously impaired by the ongoing EU re-registration process, under Directive 91/414/EEC. Of the 952 existing crop protection products that existed previously,
530 have already been eliminated - and a further significant reduction in compounds is to be expected.

The scientists who drafted and signed the "Declaration of Ljubljana" are calling for European politicians to acknowledge the need to retain sufficient product diversity in order to manage the
threat of resistance development. It appears that this biological requirement has so far been largely neglected by policy makers. The scientists are concerned that the proposed European legislation will force farmers to use a smaller number of substances more intensively. This would increase the likelihood of resistance developing to the remaining pesticides, thereby threatening agricultural productivity and income of European farmers.

Agricultural Institute of Slovenia

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings expo exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture hydroponics ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maiz maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by

Back to TOP