Commission moves step closer to ban on key tillage fungicide
Proposals for an EU ban on the key tillage fungicide chlorothalonil will be put to officials from member states at a meeting in Brussels today, reports Sarah Collins.
EU Commission officials are pushing for a ban on the chemical which is due for re-authorisation at the end of this year, but it’s not clear if a majority of member states will support the move.
Ireland, the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands, the bloc’s major users of the chemical — most commonly branded as Bravo — are lobbying to keep it on the market.
The European Food Safety Agency found that the chemical is “very toxic” and that available data “does not permit the conclusion that… any harmful effect on human or animal health can be excluded”.
A Teagasc report has warned that banning chlorothalonil would have a devastating impact on the tillage sector. It estimates that net margins for wheat and barley growers would decline by 50pc and 65pc respectively without access to the chemical.
Ireland, the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands - the bloc's major users of the chemical - are lobbying to keep it on the market. But the positions of France and Germany, key players needed for a majority decision, are unclear.
Chlorothalonil is the main ingredient in Bravo, a fungicide made by global agri-chemical giant Syngenta. It's most commonly used on cereals, tomatoes and potatoes.
It is also produced by US-based Arysta LifeScience.