20 July 2001
Danes ban widely-used insecticide
By FWi staff
A COURT case is looming over the Danish Government after it announced a marketing ban on one of the countrys most widely-used insecticides.
The ban on esfenvalerate, sold in the UK as Sumi-Alpha, was announced by the Danish secretary of environment, Svend Auken, on Wednesday (18 July).
The announcement comes just a few days before a new EU directive on pesticides comes into effect on 1 August, reports Danish farming magazine Maskinbladet.
Under the directive, esfenvalerate is included in Annex One, meaning that it can be sold all over Europe.
“Esfenvalerate is a strong poison for living organisms in water holes, watercourses and lakes,” said Mr Auken, shortly after issuing the ban.
“In this way we send a signal to the other EU countries, that we are serious with respect to the level of protection from pesticides in Denmark.”
Only Denmark voted no when the EU decided last year to allow esfenvalerate. All other 14 countries said yes.
The insecticides manufacturers, Japanese company Sumitomo Chemical Agro Europe, reacted swiftly to the ban.
The company has subpoenaed the Danish Environmental Agency saying that its single handed step does not comply with the new directive.
A spokesman said Mr Aukens claims were unjustified and out of line with his European counterparts.
“Esfenvalerate has been rigorously re-examined at EU level for inclusion into Annex One and passed.”
The Danish ban is not total. In rare cases the authorities can issue a dispensation when there is no substitute or alternative.
Esfenvalerate has a market share of 30% of the Danish market of insecticides.
Used in the UK to control BYDV, it is sold by BASF. It is thought that the Danish ban will have no impact on its use here.