Syngenta to prepare application for new EU registration for paraquat
Following the European Community Court of First Instance’s (CFI) decision on July 11, 2007, to annul the EU registration in 2003 of the herbicide paraquat, Syngenta announced today that the company, encouraged by the support of several Member States, including the Rapporteur Member State, the United Kingdom, will prepare to re-apply for a new EU registration. Syngenta markets paraquat under the brand name Gramoxone®.
“The CFI decision related to the way in which the re-registration procedure was handled and to the manner in which the Commission interpreted the relevant laws and applied them to its analysis of the data”, said John Atkin, Chief Operating Officer Syngenta Crop Protection. “At no stage did the CFI find that paraquat was an inherently unsafe or dangerous product. Moreover, the Commission’s original decision in 2003 to register paraquat at EU level followed a detailed and comprehensive scientific review.”
Due to major changes in regulatory requirements since the last application was submitted, it is likely to take at least two years before a new application can be made. Syngenta will be responding during this time to any further changes in regulatory conditions or requirements.
In Europe, farmers have benefited from using paraquat because of its unique qualities, which include fast contact action and rapid deactivation in the soil. Paraquat also helps combat soil erosion, by preserving weed roots which bind the soil. It is widely used in minimum tillage agriculture which is more favorable for the absorption of carbon dioxide than traditional cultivation.
Paraquat improves people’s lives in developing countries by enabling farmers and their families to escape the constant requirement for hand weeding, which is a burden for millions of people in subsistence farming and underdeveloped rural communities.
Syngenta has comprehensive data that demonstrate the safety of paraquat for users, consumers and the environment. The company is committed to promoting the safe use of all its products, including paraquat, through extensive stewardship and training. Last year, these programs reached more than 3.4 million farmers worldwide.
Syngenta was not involved in the legal action taken by Sweden against the European Commission and was therefore unable to appeal. The judgment led to an unprecedented legal situation in which the EU registration of paraquat was annulled. Following this annulment, and subsequent advice given by the Commission’s Health and Consumer Affairs Directorate, some Member States suspended or cancelled their national registrations of paraquat products.
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