Pest Control Substances Used In The U.S. Banned in Europe

There are many crop protection products in use in the United States that have been or are being withdrawn from other parts of the world. This is the result of a current study published in the journal “Environmental Health”, which compares the approval status of more than 500 active ingredients for plant protection in the USA with the situation in the European Union as well as Brazil and China. Therefore

  • 85 substances are used in plant protection in American agriculture that is banned or is currently being phased out in at least one of the three comparison areas,
  • a further 13, besides the USA, are only allowed in one of the three comparison regions
  • and two of the active ingredients examined are only allowed to be used in the United States.

27 percent of the active ingredients used in the USA for pest control have no future in the EU

Of the 85 substances that are banned in at least one comparison area, the study found that 58% belong to the herbicides and 20% to the insecticides usually used in pest control. Note though that not all pest control companies in the USA are using these banned pesticides. A further 16% are used against nematodes and bacteria in addition to fungal attack; 6% have a fungicidal and insecticidal effect.

According to the study, around 600 million kg of pesticides were applied in the USA in 2016. Of the products used, 72 have no future in the EU; their share in the total amount was around 161.3 million kg or 27%. In Brazil, 17 of these plant protection products are banned or are being phased out; in China, there are eleven.

The revocation of admission is “particularly arduous and politically charged”

Of the active ingredients examined in the study, paraquat and phorate are used exclusively in the USA; Both substances are not approved or are being phased out in the comparison regions. 2.4-DB is only approved in the United States and the EU; This active ingredient may be used in Belgium, Italy, France, and the Netherlands, but not Germany.

In the opinion of the author of the analysis, the reason for the “lagging” in the USA in regulating plant protection products is the inadequate legal framework. These made the revocation of a license a “particularly arduous and politically charged” process. As a result, active ingredients were mainly withdrawn from the market voluntarily by the manufacturers.