EU move to ban Endosulfan to benefit European Crop Protection Industry

The Pesticide Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India (PMFAI) held a press conference today and invited speakers who pointed to European Union’s (EU) role in steering proceedings at international chemical conventions. The Stockholm Convention has been exploited by European Commission to further its trade interests as world market leader in crop protection chemicals. A push for elimination of the generic pesticide Endosulfan will directly promote the use of patented alternatives and benefit European multinationals.

The meeting was addressed by senior members from the International Stewardship Centre Inc. (ISC) – a non-profit organization registered in Washington D.C. that holds an observer status at these conventions. Along with ISC there was participation from Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) which is focused on advancing the cause of Indian farmers through better crop protection. The speakers shared their experiences and highlighted the current status of Endosulfan and the proceedings that are likely to impact India and its agriculture in the months ahead.

Speaking to the press, Mr. Pradip Dave, President – Pesticide Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India (PMFAI) gave an overview of the international chemical trade. “Europe is a leader in the international chemicals trade which includes crop protection chemicals. The global crop protection market is valued at over US$ 40 billion. The top three companies which dominate this business are all European and account for over 50% of the global market. This market share has been built with a strong focus on patented and proprietary crop protection chemicals supported by strong regulations, driven by the European standards.” “This has been the motivation for European multinationals to replace “low priced generics” with their “expensive patented alternatives”, added Mr. Dave.

The European Union (EU) has been pushing for a global ban on Endosulfan by proposing its inclusion in the Stockholm Convention as a Persistent Organic Pollutant. As an observer at the Stockholm Convention, Mr. Charles Hanson – Executive Director of International Stewardship Centre Inc. shared that, “Aggressive campaigning by the EU and environmental NGO’s supported and funded by the EU, has resulted in a number of countries announcing a ban on Endosulfan.” Echoing the EU call, the Chemical Review Committee of the Stockholm Convention recommended the listing of Endosulfan as a Persistent Organic Pollutant despite significant data gaps and without a clear consensus on the decision.

Endosulfan is the third largest selling insecticide worldwide. Invented in Germany over 55 years ago, today it accounts for a global market in excess of 40 million liters valued at over US$ 300 million. Mr. R. Hariharan – Chairman, International Stewardship Centre Inc. (ISC) shared, “Indian companies account for over 70% of this market which has come at the cost of the European manufacturers. The replacement value of Endosulfan by patented alternative is estimated to be in excess of US$ 1 billion. As a result, Endosulfan is today in the eye of the storm in the battle of “patented” versus “generic” pesticides.”

Source: Business Standard



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