The CLA has said vital products needed for land management may be lost as a result of the EU’s attempt to redefine how hazardous they are.
Responding to a European Commission consultation to help determine criteria for endocrine disruption – chemicals contained within products which could alter the hormonal system – the CLA said it was necessary to identify the potential risk of pesticides and biocides by taking into account potency and exposure as well as hazard.
CLA President Henry Robinson said: “Seventeen active substances in herbicides, fungicides and insecticides could be lost as a result of the endocrine disruptor classification. Such a loss would have significant consequences for agriculture and land management.
“Instead of drawing an arbitrary line between hazardous and non-hazardous substances, the Commission should classify the substances based on a proportionate sense of risk.
“Without understanding the difference between risk and hazard properly, substances which pose little threat to human health or the environment such as salt and caffeine could be deemed to have endocrine disrupting properties and become needlessly banned. The potential loss of essential plant protection products could significantly reduce the ability of landowners and farmers to control pests, fungi and diseases without any additional benefits to the environment.”