Use of illegal and counterfeit plant protection products endangers confidence in ukraine’s AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD products
(20 March 2008, Kyiv, Ukraine)
At the round table today, organised by the European Business Association (EBA) and the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA), members of the plant protection industry launched an initiative entitled the European Union Crop Protection Information Service (EUCPIS) to develop awareness within the farming and food production industries of the growing threat to the economics of farming in Ukraine and the human food chain of illegal and counterfeit plant protection products.
Ukrainian government officials joined in a wide ranging discussion of issues surrounding the plant protection industry and implications of using counterfeit and illegal plant protection products to the food chain in Ukraine and to the potential for the export of farm produce and food products to the European Union. The round table discussed in detail how these ‘problem’ chemicals might impact on the upcoming negotiations with the EU on a deep free trade area and future agricultural and food exports.
Rocky Rowe, Trade Advisor to the European Crop Protection Association said: “There has been a marked increase in the trade of illegal and counterfeit agricultural chemicals over the past few years that is unfortunately directly linked to the growth and expansion of the chemicals industry in China. Whilst this matter is being addressed at the highest level within the EU, Ukrainian farmers and customs officials need to be diligent as the composition of these chemicals is often highly toxic and frankly dangerous to both public health and the environment. Nobody objects to legitimate competition from China but what is currently being illegally exported is in many cases very dangerous indeed.”
On average, it takes 10 years to synthesize, field-test, register and launch into production a new plant protection product based on a unique proprietary active ingredient. It is a highly scientific, labor-intensive, time-consuming and expensive process. The development of one such product costs around 150 million Euros. All crop protection products must undergo a rigorous approval process before they are authorized for marketing and use in both the EU and Ukraine. The potential risks arising from their use are thoroughly assessed on the basis of extensive data, covering product efficacy and chemistry, toxicology, health effects and environmental impact. They all undergo mandatory testing to determine what potential effects they may have on hormonal systems. Products are approved only if they are effective, can be applied safely and do not have any unacceptable side effects on humans and the environment.
Marek Luczak, Chair of the EBA Agrochemical Committee said: “Ukraine has a tremendous opportunity to sell both farm produce and food products to the European Union but this can be ruined by the actions of a small number of unscrupulous importers and local producers who in many cases are simply out to defraud farmers. In reality the savings made in buying these cheap copies simply do not add up as these farmers are putting the health of themselves and their workers at great risk as well as running the risk of destroying their crops, poisoning their land and the water table as well as risking public health through unacceptable levels of harmful residues in the food chain. What we hope to achieve through this information programme is wiser and better informed farmers and farm workers, customs officials and sanitary inspectors and most of all food producers. We want to support the authorities in what is a very difficult environment and we look forward to sharing intelligence and setting up training so that the customs and crop protection specialists are better informed.”
A full list of those present at the round table is attached.
About the European Business Association
The European Business Association (Association) is a non-profitable organization that is the premier organization for foreign business in Ukraine and brings together over 750 European, including national and international companies.
Today the Association is the premier organizations of international business in Ukraine. Establishment of the European Business Association was initiated in 1999 by the European Commission interested in supporting European business in Ukraine and developing EU-Ukraine relations. Taking into account Ukraine's priority of the European integration the Association sees its core mission in developing cooperation between European business and state authorities of Ukraine in order to create favourable business environment and attracting foreign direct investment into Ukrainian economy.
The EBA priorities for 2008 are: reducing the barriers to investment, supporting different instruments promoting economic integration with the EU and promoting image of Ukraine as an investment destination and business partner.
Detailed information is available at www.eba.com.ua
About the European Crop Protection Association
The European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) represents the crop protection industry in Europe. Its members include both national associations and companies throughout Europe, including Central and Eastern Europe. ECPA leads and coordinates a network of over 40 member companies and national associations who act as its local representatives.
Association’s philosophy is to have highly knowledgeable and committed experts working at the European level for sensible, safe and responsible use of crop protection technologies. ECPA’s core values and beliefs are centered around care for human health and the environment. ECPA advocates EU policies and legislation that uphold a science and risk-based approach, foster innovation, operate in a predictable and proportionate way, enable the industry to perform efficiently, protect intellectual property and reward the introduction of new technologies and practices.
About the EBA Agrochemical Committee
Established in 2001, the committee brings together representatives of 8 agrochemical companies working in Ukraine: Arysta LifeScience, BASF AG, Bayer CropScience, Chemtura Netherlands B.V., Dow Agrosciences
Du Pont de Nemours International S.A., Summit-Agro Ukraine Ltd. and Syngenta.
The EBA Agrochemical Committee establishes links between the industry specialists, manufacturers of crop protection products, trade publications, farmers and other stakeholders in an effort to educate the industry and the public about the dangers of using counterfeit plant protection products.
The EBA Agrochemical Committee is an associated member of the European Crop Protection Association since January 2004.
For more information, please contact
Agrochemical Committee, the European Business Association
1st floor, 1A Andriyivsky uzviz
Tel: +380 44 496 0601
Fax: +380 44 496 0602
E-mail: [email protected]