An European Commission proposal not to renew the approval of fungicide, chlorothalonil is expected to be discussed at the next Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF) due to be held later this month.
Approval for chlorothalonil is due to expire on October 31, 2018.
Hazel Doonan, head of crop protection and agronomy sector at Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) explains that while EFSA is the assessor that looks at each active substance and gives its opinion to the EC, in the past the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has proved important in cases such as glyphosate renewal as it determines how crop protection products are classified e.g. in terms of potential carcinogenicity. But it is not due to report until November.
Ms Doonan says: “The Commission is hoping to get a vote at SCoPAFF but this seems previous given it does not have all the facts to hand. EFSA should wait until the ECHA classification.”
Loss of the chemical would have serious implications for control of diseases in cereals, she adds. “It is so important for septoria in wheat, and even more important for ramularia in barley as there is nothing else. It also stops resistance from developing. It is critical we keep it until we have an effective alternative.”