The European Parliament has approved legislation regulating the use of pesticides. The law bans certain highly toxic chemicals in pesticides and creates criteria for the use of other substances. The EU will create a list of approved “active substances,” consisting of chemicals that can be used in pesticides. Based on an assessment by the Swedish Chemicals Agency, approximately 22 substances are expected to be removed from the market when their existing authorization expires. Countries will license pesticide products for national use. To speed up pesticide approval, a country may license products through mutual recognition, a system in which the EU will be divided into three zones, and countries can recognize the pesticide licenses of other countries in the same zone. However, a country may adopt additional conditions or approvals for their zone or refuse approval. Under an directive accompanying the law, EU states must adopt national action plan to reduce pesticide risks and the directive must be approved by 2011. The directive also bans aerial crop spraying.

Source: European Commission

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