EU cracks down on illegal pesticides once again

An EU enforcement operation has uncovered 550 tonnes of illegal pesticides that could have damaging effects on health and the environment.

The fourth instalment of Europol’s Operation Silver Axe – which is backed by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) – takes the total quantity of illicit and counterfeit pesticides seized to 1,222 tonnes, and has resulted in the arrest of three suspects.

Last year’s operation netted 360 tonnes, up from 122 in 2017 and 190 tonnes in the inaugural Silver Axe at the end of 2015.

Counterfeit pesticides contain chemicals that are either banned or restricted in the EU due to the potential risks they may pose, and are not authorised for sale by authorities. They can lead to crop failures and sometimes contain toxic or flammable ingredients that can make even transport unsafe, according to the European Crop Care Association (ECCA) industry body.

The latest operation involved law enforcement officers from 29 participating countries, who checked pesticides in production and repackaging facilities. OLAF provided Europol and the participating countries with information on 120 suspicious shipments of pesticides shipped into the EU.

“ECCA is pleased to see the result of Silver Axe IV, but at the same time concerned about the ongoing illegal business,” said the trade body’s technical director Hans Mattaar.

“We look forward to continuing our contribution to Europol in broadening the scope of Silver Axe. To increasing the pressure is the only way to discourage to discourage the criminal organisations behind this illegal trade,” he added.

In 2017, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published research showing that fake pesticides cost EU businesses around 14 per cent of their revenues each year, and cause an estimated 2,600 people their jobs.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top