The European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) has called on the EU and national Governments to crack down on the production of fake pesticides as they could have an effect on public health, the environment and crop yield.
The push for a clampdown came as a new report from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUPIO) showed fake pesticides cost EU businesses €1.3 billion every year.
In the UK, total lost sales amounted to €76 million, and around 200 jobs were said to be lost as legitimate manufacturers employ fewer people than they would if counterfeiting were not an issue.
ECPA director of public affairs Graeme Taylor said: “One thing is the impact this has on our industry in terms of lost revenue. The other, and more concerning element, is the potential impact these counterfeit and illegal products could have on the environment and the health of those using them.
“At a time when our industry’s products are rigorously tested and scrutinised, both politically and scientifically, the European Commission and national authorities should be doing more to combat illegal and counterfeit products, rather than arbitrarily reducing the legitimate number of products on the market.”
Fake pesticides are either smuggled into the EU or come in under the cover of parallel imports. They enter as active substances, bulk consignments of pre-manufactured concentrate or in fully finished packed goods – in which case, the packaging can come with no user instructions or a copy of the original labelling.
Always report suspicious products and suppliers to Defra: 08459 33 55 77.