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Bruxelles, le 24 September 2009

Commission welcomes adoption of legislation on plant protection products

The Council has adopted today a Regulation to replace the current legislation setting out the rules on the authorisation of plant protection products. This Regulation, based on a Commission proposal, will result in an increased protection of human health and of the environment in the use of plant protection products. At the same time, the new Regulation will also lead to a better protection of agricultural production and extend and deepen the single market of plant protection products.

EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said "I am happy to see this Regulation being adopted under my current turn as Commissioner for health. The new Regulation will establish the most modern and protective system for the health of consumers worldwide. Furthermore, it also benefits our farmers, as it ensures their own protection and the promotion of safer products".

The new Regulation confirms the high level of protection of human health and the environment while at the same time harmonising further the availability of plant protection products.

The new Regulation will facilitate innovation by establishing clear criteria for approval of substances to be used in plant protection products favouring at the same time an open and competitive market for plant protection products in the European Union.

The text contains provisions on:

  • zonal mutual recognition for plant protection products

  • comparative assessment for substances which are more problematic than others

  • criteria for approval of active substances

  • inspection and monitoring on production, storage, transport and use of plant protection products

  • a simplified evaluation and authorization procedure

  • role of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

  • data protection – data sharing

  • informing on the use of plant protection products to neighbours

  • reduction of tests on vertebrates

All objectives targeted by the initial Commission proposal are met with the new Regulation as it results from the Co-decision process.

The new legislation will enter into force later this year and will become fully applicable as from 18 months following the date of publication. Together with the end of the review programme of existing active substances, the Commission will have met its objective to make sure that efficient plant protection is and will be achieved with safer products.

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