SPRAY MANUFACTURER Dow Agrosciences is to launch an appeal against a Chinese court ruling that its product labels are misleading to farmers.

The landmark court case found that Dow could have prevented a Maximum Residue Limit exceedence by international fresh produce grower New Millennium Group.

Traces of Lorsban (chlorpyrifos), applied according to label recommendations to a spinach crop in China in 2001, were detected by German authorities following export.

Dow should have warned growers, via the label, that the seven-day harvest interval allowed in China is unusually short, compared to other countries, the court concluded.

But Dow has strongly disagreed, pointing out its product labels complied with Chinese laws and regulations.

The company said it would appeal the decision, and pointed out it should not be up to a spray manufacturer to know if produce treated with a product will be exported.

“It is the job of the exporter to understand the requirements of the country where the produce is to be shipped,” said a Dow spokesman.

“The facts, the evidence and the application of relevant Chinese law argue overwhelmingly that this case ought to have been dismissed.”

Efforts by manufacturers to harmonise international pesticide standards and regulations have been hampered by countries deciding individually how products are to be regulated, he added.

Dow said it was confident the Intermediate People‘s Court of Qingdao decision would be overturned on appeal by the High People‘s Court of Shandong Province or the China Supreme Court.