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EU Commission confirms non-renewal of diquat

Product Update
16.10.2018
Potato harvesting
Diquat has played a vital role in growers' rapid desiccation of potato crop haulm, to enable cost effective harvesting of clean tubers

The EU Commission has confirmed its decision to withdraw the approval of diquat, the active ingredient in Reglone and Retro. 

Following the Appeal Committee meeting on 12 July 2018, in which no opinion was reached regarding a proposal from the European Commission to withdraw the approval of diquat, The European Commission has decided to implement its proposal not to renew its approval in the EU.

This decision applies to all products containing diquat, and was based on concerns related to the precautionary principle of exposure of bystanders and residents, as well as birds.

The European Commission has proposed that diquat is withdrawn from the market by 4 May 2019, with a use-up period for growers up to 4 February 2020.

However, the Chemicals Regulation Division of the Health and Safety Executive is yet to set out specific sell-out and use-up periods for UK growers.

Potato harvesting

Syngenta UK Potato Manager, Mark Britton, explained: "We have fought hard to defend diquat.

"We stand by our products and science and maintain that the withdrawal of diquat approval is not justified." 

Several Member States were of the same opinion, as demonstrated by the result of the 12 July vote, he pointed out.

"We are convinced that diquat plays a vital role in food production. Europe has unfortunately lost an important element for the competitiveness of its agriculture," added Mark.

Further information on the UK sell-out and use-up dates issued by CRD will be conveyed to the industry at the earliest opportunity.