A significant court ruling which heightens the protection of plants without chemicals
There are several non-chemical methods to protect coniferous plants against pine weevils. Therefore it was correct of the Swedish Chemicals Agency to reject the application to approve the chemical plant protection product Imprid Skog. So states the recently issued a ruling of the Land and Environment Court of Appeal in this regard.
“The Land and Environment Court of Appeal’s ruling is very gratifying. Our decision was based on the fact that there are ways and methods to protect coniferous plants from pine weevils without the use of chemicals and that these methods are already widely in use. Each and every time we can reduce the unnecessary use of chemicals, we take one step closer to a non-toxic environment,” observes Per Ängquist, Director-General of the Swedish Chemicals Agency.
Pesticides that are sold and used in Sweden must be approved by the Swedish Chemicals Agency. Under the Plant Protection Product Regulation, EU Member States have certain possibilities to decide on substitutions to replace plant protection products with other chemicals or methods that are significantly safer for health or the environment and which, at the same time, do not lead to significant financial or practical disadvantages.
Swedish forestry has succeeded in developing alternative non-chemical protection against pine weevils that are a very serious threat to young coniferous plants. These non-chemical protections today dominate the efforts to combat the pine weevil.
The Land and Environment Court of Appeal upholds the Swedish Chemicals Agency’s decision to reject the application to approve this particular chemical product, on the grounds i.a. that the use of non-chemical methods of control against pine weevil attacks on spruce and pine were more common than chemical methods of control at the time of the Decision, and that a ban on the use of Imprid Skog would not entail any significant financial or practical disadvantages for forest owners.
The judgment is important to uphold a principle. It is one of the first judgments in the EU based on the fact that chemical control authorities may decide on the substitution of chemical plant protection products. This means that if there is a non-chemical method of control or a preventive method that is in general use, then the chemical method should be replaced with the non-chemical one. The judgment may also provide some guidance on the possibilities of using substitution within other areas, for the purpose of further promoting progress relating to non-chemical practices in the field of plant health and protection.
In May 2019, the Swedish Chemicals Agency rejected an application for renewed product authorisation for the pesticide Imprid Skog, which is used against pine weevils on coniferous plants. The Swedish Chemicals Agency’s decision was appealed by the applicant company to the Land and Environment Court at Nacka District Court, which in November 2019 decided to approve the application to renew the product authorisation for Imprid Skog. The Swedish Chemicals Agency then appealed the ruling to the Land and Environment Court of Appeal at the Svea Court of Appeal.
For additional information contact:
Camilla Thorin, Agronomist, +46 (0)8-519 41 256
Swedish Chemicals Agency Press Room, +46 (0)8 519 41 200, firstname.lastname@example.org