in Europe we have access to a continuous supply of food that is healthy affordable
and safe this is possible thanks to modern agricultural practices and strict European laws.
Pesticides have strict rules to manage their use these rules are there to protect the
farmer the consumer and the environment.
The European Food Safety Authority States “In the EU no pesticides can be used
unless it has been scientifically established that they have no harmful
effects on consumers workers are bystanders they do not
damage to the environment and they are sufficiently effective.”
So what’s the problem well no problem when EU approved
pesticides are used; however, increasing quantities of fake
pesticides are being produced and sold by criminals around the world. Pesticides are a high value good
they are essential tools for farmers so it is perhaps no surprise that
there’s a lucrative market in illegal counterfeit products.
The global trade in fake products goes beyondhandbags and sunglasses.
Like all fakes counterfeit pesticides are produced to make a quick profit with no regard for health and safety.
They contain unknown combinations of substances which do not have a seal of approval. How do counterfeit pesticides even get in to Europe? The mainstreaming of technology and legal loopholes make the life of illegal traders and
counterfeiters all the easier this is serious organised Crime.
The vast majority of illegal pesticides are made in China and transported to europe using false
documentation.
They arrive in Europe via land, air and sea often to be repackaged and
shipped to the final destination with new but equally fake documents and product
labels. The transport of falsely labeled chemicals
poses a very real threat to health and safety Up to 10 percent of pesticides on the
market in Europe are illegal. Once re-packaged with
professional-looking labels it can be difficult to spot a fake.
The best way to avoid buying fake pesticides is to use an accredited distributor. The farmer and his/her land usually take the biggest hit
losing money on a cheap product that doesn’t protect the crop
as intended or worse, destroys it.
But potential risks extends the farmer’s health, the environment, and potential for soil damage serious enough to cause problems for future
harvests. If we prevent fake pesticides from
entering the EU they will not reach the market,
so we need to empower customs officials because we need to stop legal products
entering the EU and safely dispose of them to prevent
re-entry.
We need to enable cooperation between pesticide
regulators and customs officials, because it takes
expertise and teamwork to identify and block the
import of illegal pesticides.