Crop protection industry urges stronger regulatory framework between U.S. and EU

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



BRUSSELS, March 13, 2014 --CropLife America (CLA) and the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) called for a more harmonized risk assessment framework for pesticide regulations during the fourth round of negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in Brussels.

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The comments follow the submission of a joint proposal on U.S.-EU regulatory cooperation that CLA, which represents the U.S. crop protection industry, and ECPA sent to U.S. and EU negotiators last week. The proposed partnership would create one of the world's biggest free trade zones.

During a TTIP stakeholder session yesterday, CLA's senior adviser of trade, intellectual property and strategic issues, Doug Nelson, outlined four key areas for collaboration within TTIP: sectoral negotiations on agricultural chemicals in order to analyze current divergences between U.S. and EU regulatory systems; utilizing risk assessment as the basis for a regulatory framework; harmonization regarding Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs); and protection of intellectual property.

The proposal emphasized the need for a science-based risk assessment framework for pesticide regulations in alignment with the principles established by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS). Both the U.S. and EU are signatories to the WTO Agreement.

“CLA and ECPA strongly support the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the potential the agreement has to boost agricultural innovation as well as job and economic growth on a global scale,” Nelson said.

“The U.S. and EU have the most highly developed pesticide regulatory systems in the world,” Nelson said. “Establishing a stronger, unified regulatory system will ensure the highest levels of consumer and environmental protection while promoting international trade, creating jobs and enhancing social and economic viability.”

In November 2013, CLA released a report detailing the potential economic impacts of EU regulations on crop protection products, “Potential Trade Effects on U.S. Agricultural Exports of European Union Regulations on Endocrine Disruptors,” prepared by DTB Associates, LLP. The report estimated that, if implemented, the proposed policies for endocrine disruptors under EU Regulation 1107/2009 could block more than $4 billion, or 40 percent, of U.S. agricultural exports to the EU in addition to exports of crop protection active ingredients, and imperil TTIP.

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