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EGTOP Reports on plant protection and food published

Category: News
16 May 2014

Reports to EC on the use of plant protection products in organic production and on flavours and their use in organic food processing have been published.

The Expert Group for Technical Advice in Organic Production (EGTOP) was set up by the European Commission four years ago in order to provide impartial advice to the Standing Committee on Organic Farming (SCOF) in its discussions on the regulations and standards. EGTOP has a core group, including Nic Lampkin of ORC, that meets regularly together with a 60 strong pool of experts that are called on for particular topics.

Final report on plant protection products

The Group evaluated a number of topics relevant for the use of plant protection products in organic production and concluded the following:

  • The use of potassium phosphonates is not in line with the objectives and principles of organic production as laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007. If the objective is to reduce copper use by regulation at national or European level, then alternative options compatible with the regulation should be exploited. The Group underlined that copper use should be minimised.
  • The use of kieselgur for the control of stored product pests and poultry mites is in line with the objectives, criteria and principles of organic farming. When used in animal buildings, appropriate measures must be taken to avoid negative effects on animal health, in particular through inhalation.
  • The use of carbon dioxide for the control of stored product pests is in line with the objectives, criteria and principles of organic production. No restrictions on it's use are necessary in the Group’s opinion.
  • The use of piperonyl butoxide is not in line with the objectives, criteria and principles of organic farming and the tolerance of its use should be phased out.
  • The use of potassium bicarbonate as an insecticide is in line with the objectives, criteria and principles of organic farming. The Group recommends that the restriction ‘fungicide’ should be deleted. As a less preferred alternative, the use ‘insecticide’ could be added.
  • The use of soft soap for disease control is in line with the objectives, criteria and principles of organic farming as laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 and the Group recommends appropriate modifications of the present listing of soft soap in Annex II, in accordance with pesticide registrations. The Group recommends to delete the restriction ‘insecticide’. As a less preferred option, the use ‘fungicide’ could be added.
  • The Group is against automatic approval of low risk substances in organic farming.
  • In the Group’s opinion, restrictions of use category in Annex II should be limited to those cases where further limitations are needed from an organic farming point of view, beyond the limitations already imposed by pesticide approval (Reg. 540/2011). For other cases, specifications of use category should be deleted. The Group recommends to include a ‘basic list of active substances’ in Annex II.

Download Final report on Plant Protection Products (II)

Final EGTOP report on Food

The EGTOP has evaluated a number of topics relevant for the use of flavours in organic products and the production of organic flavours. Read the full report here

Keywords: EGTOP food additives plant protection pesticides

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