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Marie Louise Dubois

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A tale of three zones: Work sharing in Europe

EU member states and industry stakeholders cannot continue to work in isolation if they are to rise to the challenges posed by depleting food stocks, climate change, a rising population and the migration of food to fuel crops. Terry Tooby, regulatory affairs director at UK consultancy JSC International, sounded this warning at the Informa Life Sciences 15th “Registration of Agrochemicals in Europe” conference on May 13th-14th in Brussels, Belgium. The proposed revision of the EU agrochemical registration Directive (91/414), due to come into force in 2010, may provide an opportunity to take some steps towards this goal of greater co-operation in the region.

Product Policy & Regulation

Hors Jeux! France's agricultural angst

Are green policies costing France its agricultural industry - once the jewel in the country's republican crown? Jean-Charles Bocquet, director of the French agrochemical industry association, speaks to Marie-Louise du Bois about the impact of government initiatives on the industry.

Product Policy & Regulation

Parallel trade in the EU: What the member states say

Could agreement on EU rules on the parallel trade of agrochemicals help to cut the ever-increasing workload faced by EU member states in the registration of agrochemicals? Proposals to introduce EU-wide rules on parallel trade are being discussed as part of the planned revision of the EU agrochemical registration Directive (91/414 – Agrow No 540, p 11). Disagreement on the treatment of parallel trade products persists and the proposal will undergo further changes before relieving the industry and member states of some of the workload, says Mathias Uteβ of the German federal office for consumer protection and food safety, the BVL. He spoke of the progress and difficulties regarding parallel trade at the Registration of Agrochemicals in Europe conference on May 13th-14th in Brussels, Belgium.

Policy & Regulation Product

Disparate views on cut-off criteria in the EU

How many active ingredients will be lost if the EU authorities’ proposed hazard-based cut-off criteria are introduced with the planned revision of the EU agrochemical registration Directive (91/414)? While Diane Castle of the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) argues that the planned cut-off criteria threaten to sweep the majority of products from the market, with few options left to farmers, Vibke Bernson of the Swedish Chemicals Agency maintains that they promise to introduce positive changes to the industry. They projected starkly contrasting scenarios for the European agrochemical industry at the 15th Registration of Agrochemicals in Europe conference on May 13th-14th in Brussels, Belgium.

Product Policy & Regulation

Fungus to control Sub-Saharan witchweed

A biocontrol agent offers Sub-Saharan farmers a new way to control the parasitic witchweed ( Striga hermonthica). The technology is seen as a major breakthrough and an alternative to post-emergence herbicides, which are considered "too costly" and "largely ineffective" in protecting crops within the local context. "We have found an extremely effective component of an integrated pest management strategy” to kill the weed, says Dr Fen Beed, the project's leading pathologist. The method is“safe, practical, affordable and sustainable for farmers," he adds.

Herbicides & PGRs Germany

German agchems up

German agrochemical companies' revenues went up by almost 11%, to €1,230 million ($1,814), in 2007, according to the agrochemical industry association, the IVA. The volume of agrochemicals sold rose by 9% to 32,200 tonnes. The IVA attributes the rise to increasing prices for agricultural commodities, a wet summer that fostered high disease pressures and the expansion of crop areas.

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