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Public health insecticides under threat from EU

Some 160 scientists from around the world have warned that EU plans to introduce hazard-based criteria in the agrochemical registration system could lead to a serious reduction in the availability of insecticides for public health programmes. The scientists have signed a petition calling for the European Commission and European Parliament to rethink the proposed revision of the EU agrochemical registration Directive (91/414 - see this issue). They point out that many insecticides used to control disease-carrying insects were originally developed for, and are used primarily in, agriculture. It is predicted that the hazard criteria would remove large numbers of ais from agricultural use. However, the continued production of ais such as organophosphates and pyrethroids would be financially unviable for the smaller public health market, the scientists say.

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