New EU rules banning the herbicide S-metolachlor take effect

Tractor mounted  agricultural pesticide sprayer, boom shaped spray for crop field.

New European Union regulations banning the use of the weed killer S-metolachlor, which was originally produced by Syngenta, came into force on Wednesday.

The European Commission decided to revoke the herbicide’s approval after the European Food Safety Authority identified a high potential for groundwater contamination and raised concerns about the potential genotoxicity and/or carcinogenicity of S-metolachlor’s active metabolites. The European Food Safety Authority also determined that earthworm-eating mammals face a high risk of secondary poisoning.

According to the new regulations, EU member States must withdraw authorisations for plant protection products containing S-metolachlor as an active substance by 23 April 2024. Furthermore, any grace period must expire by 23 July 2024.

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