Chlorothalonil ban: ‘Farmers are being made fools of’

The news that the fungicide chlorothalonil will banned in the EU has been described as “quite simply a hammer blow to the Irish tillage farmer” by the Irish Grain Growers’ Group (IGGG).

Responding to the news, which emerged from Brussels today (Friday, March 22), the association said: “Yet we have to stand back and allow imports of grains from all over the world with different standards applied arrive into the country to be fed to livestock.

“We as tillage farmers are being made fools of by the EU talking out of both sides of their mouth,” the group alleged.

The Irish Grain Quality Assurance system is a joke when our Irish grain can be mixed with any sort of grain and waste in merchants and millers processing plants.

The farmer organisation was reacting to the news that the European Commission’s proposal to ban chlorothalonil – the active ingredient in Bravo – has been endorsed by member states in Brussels.

The endorsement was officially cast by member states of the Standing Committee of Plants, Animals, Food and Feed earlier this morning.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the commission said: “The commission’s proposal for a non-renewal of chlorothalonil submitted to the member states was endorsed by the member states.

“The proposal is based on EFSA’s [European Food Safety Authority’s] scientific assessment which concluded that the approval criteria does not seem to be satisfied for a wide range of reasons.

First, there are public health concerns for consumers; indeed EFSA cannot exclude genotoxicity concern of residues of this substance.

“There are also serious environmental concerns, notably high risks are identified for fish and amphibians and great concerns are raised in relation to contamination of groundwater by metabolites of the substance,” the statement concluded.