Thiacloprid likely to exit EU market in the near future

Publish time: 26th August, 2019      Source: CCM
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  According to a notice received by the WTO on July 31, 2019, the European Commission (EC) suggested that the registration of Thiacloprid, a kind of neonicotinoid insecticides, should not be approved in the EU any more.


  Pursuant to the Requirements for Active Substance of EU Pesticide Regulation, plant protection products that contain Thiacloprid should not have a detrimental effect on human health and the environment. Having considered the draft assessment reports and peer reviews from different countries and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the EC thought that Thiacloprid failed to meet the requirements of approval. Therefore, the EC decided to no longer approve its registration.


  At the moment, the approval period of Thiacloprid is valid until April 30, 2020 in the EU. It is predicted that the suggestion will be adapted in the 4th quarter of 2019. Once the EU has made a formal announcement regarding the prohibition of Thiacloprid, related products have to exit the EU market within prescribed deadlines.


  Main reason why the EU market says goodbye to Thiacloprid: higher risk of causing cancer

  In 2005, Thiacloprid was approved under the old legislation concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market in the EU (Directive 91/414/ EEC). The new assessment is conducted under the new legislation (RegulationNo 1107/2009). According to the assessment report from the EFSA, the main reasons why Thiacloprid should be banned are as follows:


- Thiacloprid is classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B) and its reproductive toxicity is classified as category 1B, which refers to the presumed human reproductive toxicant.

  - The metabolites of Thiacloprid has been confirmed as pollutants to underground water. Under all circumstances, relevant metabolites, including M30, M34 and M46 have heavier concentrations than drinking water. Hence, it cannot be excluded that those metabolites are also carcinogenic to human beings.


- Based on the existing data, assessment of the risks for consumers, birds, mammals, aquatic organisms, bees and non-target terrestrial plants is unable to be completed.


  Neonicotinoid insecticides play a significant role in global pesticides market

  Neonicotinoid insecticides, belonging to chloronicotinyl insecticides, are generally accepted by a wide range of people thanks to their good control effects and their characteristics of low toxicity, high efficiency and broad spectrum. Homoptera aphids and Hemiptera planthoppers are especially the effective targets for neonicotinoid insecticides.


  With the excellent nature and huge market capacity, neonicotinoid insecticides are considered the most common insecticides in the world. As a main promoter for the growth of global insecticides sales volume, neonicotinoid insecticides have been performing nicely ever since its entrance on the market.


  According to official data, neonicotinoid insecticides have been ranked in the second place among pesticides categories constantly for a decade. In 2014, the sales volume of neonicotinoid insecticides reached USD 3,345,000,000 in the market, occupying 18% of the insecticides market and 5.3% of the global pesticides market.


  Neonicotinoid insecticides to face challenges in future development

  In recent years there has been a dispute concerning the high toxicity that neonicotinoid insecticides may exert on pollinating insects, particularly bees. Earlier in 2013, the EC already proposed prohibiting the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, such as Thiamethoxam, Clothianidin and Imidacloprid, for the flowering crops that can attract bees. In May, 2018, those three pesticides were fully banned being used outdoors. In the same year, France blacklisted Thiacloprid and Acetamiprid, becoming the first European country to completely restrict those five neonicotinoid pesticides.


  In China, the registration of 7 kinds of neonicotinoid insecticides including Imidacloprid, Thiamethoxam, Clothianidin, Dinotefuran, Acetamiprid, Thiacloprid and Nitenpyram is still available at present.


  Since Imidacloprid first entered the market in 1991, neonicotinoid insecticides experienced rapid development. Despite the fact that they may have a negative impact on bees, it will be very difficult to find a good alternative for this kind of insecticides. Some market insiders thought that neonicotinoid insecticides are still confronted with a lot of uncertainties in the future.


  For more information about China's insecticides market, please have a look at our monthly newsletter Insecticides China News.