PANUPS: European Pesticide Update

                         P A N U P S
                   Pesticide Action Network 
                        North America
                       Updates Service

June 3, 1997

European Pesticide Update

European Union -- A study by the European Crop Protection 
Association (EPCA) shows that average pesticide application 
rates have fallen by 21% between 1991 and 1995 -- from 4.2 
kg/ha to 3.3 kg/ha. The EPCA, an association of pesticide 
manufacturers, attributes this decline to use of newer 
products with lower application rates, improved application 
techniques, adoption of integrated pest management and 
national mandatory schemes for use reduction. In Sweden, 
which has a multi-year pesticide use reduction program, 
sustainable agriculture advocates have criticized this kind 
of reduction which has been driven by advances in pesticide 
application technology and new products with lower 
application rates and higher toxicity. They have called it a 
"phantom reduction" since it does not actually indicate a 
break from pesticide-dependent agricultural methods.

Austria -- The number of registered agrochemical products in 
Austria has been cut by almost two thirds since 
implementation of the country's strict pesticide legislation 
began in 1991. By the end of 1991, the number of registered 
pesticide products was cut by over a third. During the next 
five years, there was a further decrease of 46%. 
Approximately 645 pesticide products were available at the 
end of 1996. This compares to 963 products registered in 
Germany, 1,176 in the Netherlands and approximately 320 in 
Sweden. In addition, registration of new pesticide products 
has been cut dramatically. Product approvals stopped for 
almost two years after the law came into force, and only 23 
new products were approved for use in Austria between 1991 
and 1996. Austria registered 14 new agrochemicals in 1995, 
while France approved more than 455 new products, the UK more 
than 379, and Denmark more than 170.

Germany -- German agrochemical sales increased for the third 
straight year in 1996, according to the German agrochemical 
industry association (IVA). Domestic sales rose by 6.5% to 
US$1,190 million, and exports rose by 9.4% to US$2,328 
million. Although sales have increased, the association 
maintains that application rates in Germany have fallen to 
approximately 2.1 kg/ha, lower than the average EU 
application rate and similar to the 1.9 kg/ha rate found in 
Denmark, a country with a mandatory reduction scheme. 

The IVA stated that Germany can only continue to compete on 
the world agrochemical market "if it embraces technological 
advances, such as biotechnology , in a responsible manner." 
The association formed a biotechnology working group in 1996 
whose goal is to improve public acceptance of the use of 
agricultural biotechnology.

The Netherlands -- Agrochemical use in the Netherlands 
continued to drop in 1996 to under 10,000 tonnes as a result 
of the country's use reduction plan. Annual use is now 55% 
below the mean annual level for the period between 1984 and 
1988, according to the Dutch agrochemical industry 
association, Nefyto. Use of soil sterilants was 27% lower 
than 1995 levels, and 83% less than in 1984-1988. 
Approximately 1,743 tonnes of sterilants were used in 1996. 
Use of herbicides dropped by 1.8% to just over 3,000 tonnes 
-- 22% below 1984-1988 levels.

Spain -- Sales of pesticides in Spain in 1996 increased 16.5% 
over 1995 levels to US$587 million. Herbicide sales showed 
the greatest increase -- almost 32% more than 1995 sales. In 
addition, volume sales increased by 86,700 tonnes in 1996, an 
increase of 14.5% over the previous year. Insecticides 
accounted for 33% of sales by volume, followed by herbicides 
(27%) and fungicides (25%).

United Kingdom -- Non-agricultural herbicide usage in England 
and Wales increased by over 13% between 1989 and 1995, 
according to a report commissioned by the UK Department of 
Environment (DoE). Herbicides accounted for 92% of the 675 
tonnes of active ingredients used in non-agricultural 
settings in 1995. The DoE authorized the report in response 
to concerns over the risk to water quality and the 
environment caused by an increase in amenity pesticide use. 
Glyphosate and diuron accounted for 69% of 1995 non-
agricultural herbicide use in England and Wales. Local 
authorities and pesticide contractors were responsible for 
75% of amenity pesticide applications.

Source: Agrow: World Crop Protection News, March 14, 1997, 
April 18, 1997, May 2, 1997, and May 16, 1997; Global 
Pesticide Campaigner, March 1996.
Contact: PANNA

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