The Swedish Chemicals Agency (KemI) will not be appealing against the decisions of the Environmental Court to grant exemption to the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF) regarding the two herbicides Stomp and Totril. Thus, Swedish farmers of onions are allowed to use the herbicide Totril during 2011. They may also use Stomp SC on carrots, onion and brown beans. However, KemI considers the judgement to be erroneous in many ways.
- In our view, the Environmental Court has made an incorrect interpretation of the possibilities the legislation gives to grant exemption in this situation. The court has granted an exemption without evaluating the consequences for the environment and human health. These risks have been placed on KemI to evaluate instead on the companies selling the products, says KemI´s senior legal adviser, Per Bergman.
Despite KemI´s criticism of the court´s judgement, KemI does not intend to appeal against it. A new, complementary application for authorisation of Totril has been filed at KemI, which provides ímproved conditions for KemI to make a risk assessment.
- We have not been able to grant an exemption before, both for legal reasons and because it has not been possible to ensure that the products can be used without entailing unacceptable risks. Denmark has authorised the products on basis of additional information, which KemI has now been informed of. This being the case, we choose not to appeal against the judgement of the Environmental Court, says director-general Nina Cromnier.
KemI is now to decide the conditions for the exemptions.
A plant protection product must be authorised by KemI before it can be released on the Swedish market.
KemI may grant exemption from the requirement for authorisation in an individual case. This applies in the case of research and development, and limited use that is necessary due to an unforeseen danger, or if there are particular reasons and the exemption is compatible with the Plant Protection Directive 91/414/EEC, which was implemented in Swedish legislation in 2006. According to this directive, all EU member states had to re-evaluate their authorisations applying the new, mutual requirements in the directive. In order to ensure a high level of protection of the environment and human health, the criteria for decisions would only consider environmental and health risks and not the need for the products. It was decided that these re-evaluations should be made before 2009 in the case of Totril and in 2007 for Stomp SC.
The Plant Protection Directive will be repealed and replaced by the Plant Protection Regulation (EU) No 1107/2009, taking force on 14 June 2011. This will result in changed rules on exemptions.